Peppermint Frosted Brownie Sugar Cookies

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Peppermint Frosted Brownie Sugar Cookies
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to go to Tatertots & Jello's cookie exchange with my good friend Mandy from Baking with Blondie. I always love getting together with her, especially when it involves food- because we're bound to have lots of fun! Anyway, we had a week or so to come up with a cookie to bring and it took me up until the day before to finally decide on one! I think it had something to do with the ease involved. I desperately needed a dough that I could make, refrigerate and bake once our little one went to bed for the night. These cookies were the perfect solution! The dough came together in a matter of minutes especially since there's no chocolate melting involved (which is always a big time hog). Instead the dough gets all of its rich fudgy goodness from cocoa powder and chopped semi-sweet chocolate. After a few hours of refrigeration I rolled it out, cut the snowflakes and placed them onto a Silpat-lined sheet and then in to the oven to bake. They puffed up beautifully, nice and thick! With only a few minutes of baking time required, they came out smelling incredible and had perfectly crisp edges with a soft chewy inside- just like brownies. I whipped up some peppermint frosting to spread over top and then added peppermint candy cane sprinkles as a finishing touch. They were absolutely delicious... and such a fun little twist on a Christmas classic!

Peppermint Frosted Brownie Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
3 c. all-purpose flour
⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
⅓ c. dutch-process cocoa powder
1½ c. sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. heavy cream
½ tsp. baking power
½ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. peppermint extract
⅓ c. finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I used half of a Ghirardelli baking bar)

Peppermint Frosting:
2 ½ c. powdered sugar
½ c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tbsp. heavy cream
pinch salt
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. peppermint extract
1-2 drops red food coloring

Peppermint candies, baking chips or sprinkles for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add heavy cream, vanilla and peppermint. With mixing speed on low, add one egg, mix then add the other. 
2. In a medium size mixing bow, whisk together flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients mixing until no flour/cocoa "pockets" remain. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.*
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface to approximately ¼" thick. Cut into desired shapes, place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are firm and the centers are soft and puffy. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the frosting by beating all of ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Spread onto cooled cookies and top with desired peppermint garnishes.
*Dough can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Brownie Roll-Out Cookies | Makes 2-4 dozen, depending on cookie cutter size

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