Will pulled up a chair to the counter the other day, as he often does when I am cooking. He was waiting patiently for me to give him the go-ahead to add chocolate chips to the firm cookie dough whirling in my KitchenAid Artisan Mixer. Usually, he helps sift and add the flour mixture to the dough, but on that day he was just too busy playing, which is A-ok. When the time came, he carefully poured the chips into the dough and then went to put the cup in the sink.
It’s amazing to me how far he’s come in his status as kitchen helper. It wasn’t that long ago that I worried constantly about whether he’d get hurt, or add something unsavory to the food. But he’s patient when he waits, watching with interest and listen to my play by play. I tell him why I use unsalted butter in the cookies we make and why we don’t use the extra virgin olive oil for everything.
I hope his kitchen interest doesn’t wane as he grows. Having him in the kitchen is a joy.
It’s Christmas cookie time and oh, how I love these cookies. They are ripe with peppermint flavor, but it’s not overpowering. They are chocolate and studded with more chocolate. Mmm, the chocolate. And when I eat them, I am tempted to channel my inner Yo Gabba Gabba (“There’s a party in my tummy! So yummy! So yummy!).
Deconstructed Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 5 peppermint candy canes crushed
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and peppermint. Beat on medium until mixture has a light and fluffy appearance.
- Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Pour into mixer bowl, a little at a time, mixing on low until just incorporated. Add white and semi-sweet chocolate chips and crushed candy canes and mix on medium until combined.
- Drop by the spoonful onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until set.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.