Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jo's Cheater White Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cookies

I came up with these cookies last year quite by accident.  I was in Target and found these Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips in the clearance aisle (which should have given me a clue as to how difficult they would be to find later...) for $1.67 and bought them with no clear plan of how to use them.  As it turned out, I had to make cookies on short notice for Willow's class holiday party - so I added the chips to some Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix... and people couldn't get enough! (Especially my father-in-law!)

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You will end up making these over two days (or at least in shifts in one day), so plan your time.  You will start with the baking chips, the cookie mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick (1/2c) of butter.  This isn't a deviation from the regular sugar cookie recipe - the 1 egg and 1 stick of butter are exactly what the package calls for.

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As I mentioned above, after that initial find of the baking chips in the Target clearance aisle, I never saw them again.  I did find a few places where you could buy them online, but the price effectively double or tripled when you took the shipping charges into consideration.  Luckily, I was able to find the candy that the chips are made from easily enough, so I bought a few packages at Happy Harry's (a local drugstore chain). 

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You need to put a little work into unwrapping the cookies and chopping them up into baking chip sized pieces, but it is so worth the effort.
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Add the baking chips to the sugar cookie mix, softened butter, and egg.  Mix together with a spoon.  The mixture is on the dry end - you may need to get your hands in there and knead the dough to incorporate all the butter and egg.  It's a neat feeling, though - the peppermint oil in the candy makes your hands all tingly.
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Form about a third of the dough into a log shape on a piece of plastic wrap.
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Wrap it up, tuck the ends under, and roll until it becomes a more cohesive, even log.  Repeat with the other two-thirds of the dough.  At this point, I usually keep the dough in the refrigerator overnight - but I think if you were to do it for at least 4 hours, the dough would been firm enough.
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When you are ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat your oven to 375'F (again, exactly what the package called for).  Once the oven is pre-heated, slice your logs into 1/4" slices.  You will need to use a very sharp knife to cut through the candy pieces.  Place on parchment-paper lined cookie sheets.
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Pop into the oven and set the timer for 7 minutes.  At the 7 minute mark, open the oven to see how well-browned the cookies are (because your oven mileage may vary).  I found these were perfect when I did them for 7 + 2 minutes.  I've made a half dozen batches of these so far, and trust me - it's important to check on the browning - don't just set it for 9 minutes.  Be careful when you open the oven, as the peppermint oil wafts up pretty strongly.
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Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a baking rack to cool the rest of the way.
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Enjoy!  These are so yummy that it is really hard to believe they come from a mix.  You will get 3-4 dozen cookies from this batch, and at this time of year, both the cookie mix and the baking chips are plentiful and cheap.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yummo Jo! I dont really bake anything that isnt a cheat. Betty Crocker is my best friend in the kitchen :P Love ya - Kym

Odie Langley said...

Looks really yummy. Thanks for sharing.
Odie

Kaye said...

Mmmm....I've never seen those Andes before. But I'll bet that the Hershey Candy Cane Crunch Kisses would do in a pinch!

kingshearte said...

I'm curious: is there anything specific about the Andres Peppermint Crunch that it has to be that kind of candy, or would any peppermint candy produce the same effect?

Zonda said...

Yummy!!!