Year after year, I love baking up a storm for Christmas with my recipe for Peppermint Brownie Cookies. They are the most chewy and fudgy cookies I've ever tasted, full of cocoa and peppermint flavors. I drizzle mine with chocolate and let my kids sprinkle them with crushed red and white candies peppermint candies. My family knows it isn't Christmas until I make these - the perfect holiday treat!In case you're not too wild about peppermint, I also make these as regular Brownie Cookies. You'll definitely lose some of that seasonal magic if you ask me, but they are just as fudgy and irresistible.
1poundsemi-sweet chocolateyes, that's one pound, indeed
1/2teaspoonpeppermint extractor more to taste
1cupmilk chocolate chips
Melt butter and chocolate: In a small saucepan, melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Make cookie dough: In the meantime, beat the eggs and both sugars together in a large bowl until light in color, about 5 minutes. Beat in the peppermint extract and salt. Carefully fold in 1/3 of the melted chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula, then fold in the rest. Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold in too. Stir in the milk chocolate chips. Pour into a shallow baking dish and freeze for an hour or until firm.
Scoop and bake: When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Depending on what size cookies you want, scoop 2-3 tablespoon-sized balls onto the baking sheets (works great with an ice-cream scoop), set about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are looking dry and the tops are crackled. The cookies will still be very soft when finished baking!
Cool: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes or until they are firm enough to be transferred to a wire rack. Cool completely before drizzling with the melted white and dark chocolate and sprinkling with the crushed peppermint candies.
Store: The cookies keep in an airtight container for up to four days (see notes for freezer instructions).
Step by Step Photos and Baking Tips:
I use a double boiler to melt the butter and chocolate. Just add 1-2 aches of water to a small saucepan, place a heat safe bowl on top and add the chocolate and butter to the bowl.Then bring the water to a simmer and stir the chocolate and butter until melted and smooth. Do not let it get too hot, and don't let any water spill into the chocolate. Else the chocolate will turn dry and grainy - this cannot be salvaged and you'll need to start over.Beat the eggs and both sugars until light and fluffy - it should look foamy and like a little cloud in your bowl.
Make sure to allow the chocolate mix to cool a little before adding it to the eggs. Fold in 1/3 first to temper the eggs, then fold in the rest. Work quickly, or you'll end up with scramble egg cookies.The cookie dough will feel impossibly sticky before freezing, and you'll think I gave you an awful recipe. But that's not the case! Please resist the urge to add more flour.Freezing the dough will set it so it can be scooped once it’s firm. Do allow it to warm up slightly (otherwise you can’t scoop them), but not too much. These are a bit finicky and if you let the cookie dough get too warm before baking, they will puff up too much in the oven.They are very much worth the effort though, because if you do it right they will puff up a bit (thanks to the eggs), set (again, eggs and that bit of flour) and then once they’re out of the oven they will flatten down and be chewy and amazing (that’s probably all that chocolate and butter and sugar in there…).
Chocolate for melting: Make sure you don't use heat-stable chocolate chips, but chocolate that's suitable for melting. You should find it in the baking section of your grocery store, or just buy regular chocolate as it melts well, too.Sugar: If you don't have any brown sugar, you can replace it with more white sugar. Your cookies will be a little less fudgy, but still delicious.Peppermint extract: I use one from Nielsen Massey (you can get it here on Amazon) and 1/2 teaspoon is plenty with that exact extract for my taste. You may need to adjust the amount according to how strong you want the peppermint flavor to be, and how string your extract tastes.Milk chocolate chips: I know, more chocolate?! But yes, I also add chocolate chips because it just doubles down on the richness of these cookies. Make sure to use chocolate chips here that are heat stable (so not the same as the melting chocolate). You can leave them out or reduce the amount if that's too much of a good thing for you.
To freeze the unbaked cookie dough:You can freeze the unbaked cookie dough for up to 2 months.Either tightly wrap the casserole dish with cookie dough first in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Label with the name and use-by date before freezing.To bake the cookies, allow the dough to warm up at room temperature until firm and cold but scoopable (I do 20-30 minutes), then bake as directed in the recipe.
OR freeze the dough, then scoop the cookie balls and place them in a single layer on lined baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour, or until firm. Transfer to freezer-friendly bags or containers, label with the name and use-by date and freeze.To bake, remove as many dough balls from the freezer as you need and set them 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Allow to sit at room temperature as you preheat the oven, then bake as directed in the recipe (you may need to add a couple of minutes to the baking temperature.To freeze baked cookies: Freeze baked cookies in layers in freezer-friendly containers (separate layers with parchment paper) for up to 3 months. To defrost remove t^from the container, set on a wire rack on the counter and let defrost for 1-2 hours.