Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:
24 things I’m looking forward to in the 24 days before Christmas:
1. Decorating the Christmas tree.
2. Digging the Christmas picture books out of the decoration bin to read—my favorite is Auntie Claus.
3. Listening to my dog run around the house with a jingle-bell adorned elf slipper in his mouth.
4. Preventing said dog from making the Christmas tree skirt his new bed.
5. Driving up and down Christmas Tree Lane on Christmas Eve.
6. Caroling at churches and senior homes with my choir.
7. Giving a gift to a child in need.
8. Trying (in vain) to beat everyone home in the afternoon so that I can hide any secret (gift-filled) packages.
9. Watching It’s a Wonderful Life.
10. Listening to our Christmas playlist on repeat at all hours of the day.
11.Pressing “submit” on all of my College Applications.
12. Curling copious amounts of gift-wrapping ribbon.
13. Receiving holiday cards from friends and family.
14. Putting jars of coins in all of the gifts I give to my brother—it keeps him busy for a good 15 minutes.
15. Decorating a gingerbread house.
16. Spending lots of time in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies. (See the below collage for some ideas.)
17. Eating my mom’s almond Roca (the best candy there is).
18. Making bagels on Christmas morning with a half-asleep sous chef.
19. Wearing red and green in every possible combination.
20. Finishing up my penultimate semester of high school.
21. Completing our annual Christmas puzzle.
22. Trying all of the seasonal offerings at Trader Joe’s—Candy Cane Green Tea, anyone?
23. Spending too much time making cookies that you can really buy at Trader Joe’s but are just so fun and satisfying to make at home.
24. Eating homemade Candy Cane Joe Joe’s at choir rehearsal tonight. These chocolate sandwich cookies filled with a peppermint cream are a delicious twist on the store-bought variety, and are a new addition to my holiday cookie repertoire.
Homemade Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s
Makes about 3 dozen “Oreo” sandwiches
Adapted from Flour, by Joanne Chang
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cool slightly
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, very well softened
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon milk
2/3 cup crushed peppermint candies
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until well combined, then whisk in the vanilla, peppermint, and melted chocolate. Whisk in the egg. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and fold gently together with a spatula until well combined. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for an hour to thicken.
- Once the dough has thickened, divide it in half and place each half on a large rectangle of parchment paper (9″ x 13″ is a good size) and roll into a log roughly 1 in diameter, roll the dough log in the parchment, then place the logs in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill.
- Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge, preheat the oven to 325F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the cookie logs and slice into ¼ inch thick slices with a sharp knife. Place the cookie rounds 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets, then bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are firm to the touch. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies cool, make the filling: Combine the butter, powdered sugar, peppermint, milk, and salt in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Stir in the crushed peppermint candies until evenly distributed. Using an offset spatula, spread some of the filling onto the bottom of a cooled cookie and top with another cooled cookie, then serve. The cookies will keep at room temperature for 2 days.