Wow, it has gotten cold here. C-O-L-D. Single digit numbers have greeted us the last couple of mornings, making it hard to get out from under our layers of warm blankets each morning. We’ve begun the winter ritual of heavy coats, hats, scarves, mittens and boots before heading out the door to school. This kind of cold always settles in my bones. I won’t wear less than two or three layers until the spring thaw.
When the cold finally arrives, I start looking for ways to feel warm. Baking is usually at the top of that list. The low growl of my gas oven kicking on, the sound of the mixer whirling and the warm smell of cookies baking is almost enough to break the winter chill.
As with almost everything I bake, I substituted the all-purpose flour in this recipe with whole wheat pastry flour. It can be replaced 1:1 for all-purpose flour and is a light enough flour that you’ll hardly notice a difference.
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons warm water + 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacement, whipped as per box instructions (equivalent of 1 egg)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips or two 3.5 ounce dark chocolate bars, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes or candies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using and electric mixer, beat butter until soft. With mixer on low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar until creamy, then beat in the egg. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt; add to the butter/sugar mixture about one-third at a time, beating at low speed until smooth.
- Lay out a 16 inch sheet of parchment paper on your work surface; turn the dough out onto the paper. Using your hands shape the dough into a 12 inch long cylinder; wrap tightly in parchment and roll until dough comes together in a smooth log shape. Twist the ends to seal. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, reshape the cylinder and refrigerate for 30 minutes more.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and using a sharp knife slice dough into 1/3 inch rounds. Place about an inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm. Let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, combine chocolate chips and oil; microwave at 30 second intervals. Stir until smooth and melted. This can also be done over a double broiler.
- Spread a small amount of chocolate on top of each cookie. Sprinkle the crushed peppermints on top. Let stand until set, 2-3 hours.