Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Every year when I go home for Christmas, I'm asked to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. After doing this for the past 7 years or so, it gets a little boring making the same cookies the same way, year after year. I do love tweaking recipes, though. While I am still required to make the classic cookies, I am free to innovate as I so choose. This year, I was struck with the idea for making chocolate peppermint cookies.

Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 60 cookies

2.25 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Cookie Dough

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.

Baked Cookies

Remove to wire racks (or paper towels) to cool completely.

Cooling Cookies

For chocolate peppermint variation, replace 3/4 cup of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder and replace chopped nuts with crushed peppermint candies. I used the peppermint sticks because they are softer and melt more easily as you eat them. You can also substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla extract if you want more of a permeating minty flavor, but I left that out so the mint was more subtle.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

The Nestle Toll House recipe is an American classic. It is incredibly easy, though that has not stopped Nestle from making break-n-bake cookie dough. Embellishing your own version is also quite simple. Add your own blend of spices or mix-ins to make a cookie you can call your own. And the result will nearly always be delicious.

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