Are you lazy? I definitely am… sometimes. But not when it comes to cooking and baking. These pinchably CUTE! cookies are a lil bit of a “love job” or even “love cookies” because there’s a bit of work in making them. Not complicated, but there are three definitive steps that you can do in one day or spread over several days. The dough is tender because you use powdered sugar and lots of butter. It’s not as tough as a standard shortbread or sugar cookie dough, but the texture is heavenly. You do need to be a little careful dipping them, but it’s totally worth it. When you love people, you make them “love” cookies.
Peppermint Crusted Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
YOU WILL NEED: 2” candy cane shaped cookie cutter
Vanilla Shortbread Recipe:
- 1c butter
- 3/4 c sifted confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 c sifted flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate For Dipping:
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate ( I used 61% Guittard chocolate for a deeper more adult flavor, but a sweeter chocolate will be yummy too, as would a more bitter one)
- 1 tsp vegetable shortening
1/2 c candy canes or peppermint candy, crushed fairly fine to resemble snow.
Yield: Approximately 80 -100 cookies. More with the chocolate dough
MAKE DOUGH (Approximate preparation time: 20 minutes Chill time: 2 hours)
In a food processor, fitted with the steel knife, cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and salt to the butter mixture. Process until mixture forms a ball of dough. Remove from the bowl and flatten the dough between two sheets of waxed paper to about one inch thickness. I like to prepare the dough this way because it’s delicate and a little sticky. It is much easier to roll between the waxed paper sheets once the dough has rested and is chilled.
Chill dough for at least a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
SHAPE DOUGH (Approximate preparation time: 1 hour for cutting out the cookies Baking time is depends on how many sheet pans you have.)
Remove dough from the refrigerator and allow to stand for ten minutes. Roll carefully to 1/4” thickness between the waxed paper sheets, moving the top sheet as you roll so it doesn’t tear. Cut out cookies with the candy cane cookie cutter. Carefully place cookies on un-greased sheet pans (I lined them with baking paper). Squish scraps together, re-chill, re-roll and cut out remainder of the cookies until all the dough is used.
Bake at 300 degrees for 16-18 minutes. The cookies should be cooked, but not browned.
DECORATE COOKIES (Approximate preparation time: 30 minutes)
Microwave: Heat at 50% power for one minute intervals stirring between each interval until chocolate is melted, then add shortening.
Stove: In a double boiler over simmering water, stir chocolate and shortening until it’s melted.
Have crushed candy ready in a small bowl. Line a sheet pan with waxed paper. Pour melted chocolate into a small bowl. Use immediately.
Holding the bottom of the cookie, dip it halfway into the chocolate completely covering the top of the candy cane. Shake cookie gently to remove excess chocolate, then dip the top of the cookie in the crushed candy. Set on waxed paper to dry. You can pop the cookies in the refrigerator to cool the chocolate, but only for 5-10 minutes until the chocolate is hard.
Optional Chocolate Shortbread Recipe:
(I found this dough to be a little more delicate than the vanilla, but it worked and was delicious)
3/4 c sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c sifted flour
1/2 c cocoa powder, dutch processed
1/2 tsp salt
Follow the instructions for the vanilla shortbread cookies adding the cocoa powder with the flour.
*NOTE: In the images you may notice that I tempered chocolate for the cookies as opposed to just melting a small amount with shortening. This is a lot more work for such a small amount of cookies. If you prefer to temper your chocolate, follow instructions online for hand tempering chocolate.