Who else is ready for some levity from this heavy and strange year/pandemic we’re living through? Cookies can help, simple as it sounds. Since I’ll be baking this week with my kids who are on their winter break from school, I decided to dust off this cookie recipe from the archives. It needed new pictures and also, I cannot stop baking these every single holiday season. In fact, these cookies are always requested by my friends for our annual holiday cookie decorating party/cookie exchange. Enjoy the (slightly) updated recipe!
This Christmas season, my new obsession is all things peppermint. I’ve been drinking peppermint tea (only Celestial Seasonings will do!) like it’s going out of style. I wish I could say I’ve been burning peppermint candles but I haven’t allowed myself to step near a Yankee Candle or Bath & Body Works.
Thankfully, this obsession hasn’t led me to try and eat my toothpaste or drink some mouthwash – that would be weird. (But if you’re into that sort of thing, no offense.) Instead, it has simply manifested itself into one of my favorite wintertime activities, baking. Y’all know I love any excuse to bake cookies.
The first time I made these, I didn’t change a thing from the recipe. I did find them a bit too sweet for my taste (shocker, right?!) but if anything, that’s clearly built in self control in the form of a cookie. Anyhow, that first batch went to my husband’s office for his holiday luncheon, which I ended up dipping in melted dark chocolate and topping with sprinkles. Yes, they are as decadent as they sound and I’m pretty sure my husband said there weren’t any cookies leftover.
For my adaptation, the coconut oil is the perfect substitute for butter. While there is certainly a time and place for butter, these cookies didn’t leave me with that “I just ate too many cookies” feeling. In fact, there were three things I thought were improved. First, they weren’t flat! I love puffy, soft cookies and the coconut oil was perfect for achieving that. Second, using coconut oil instead of butter actually helped cut down on the “too sweet” taste they originally had. Finally, using some brown sugar gave these cookies the perfect amount of chewiness.
Don’t take my word for it. Go and bake them now.
p.s. They go perfect with a cup of coffee or peppermint tea.
Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies
adapted from here
Yield: about 32 two-inch cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 12 minutes
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 C coconut oil*
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 C granulated sugar
1 C light brown sugar, loosely packed
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 C white chocolate chips
1 C peppermint crunch baking bits (I used Andes)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer cream together the coconut oil, cream cheese and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and then the peppermint extract mixing until combined.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips and peppermint crunch bits. The dough will be on the soft side. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour to chill. It’s okay to let the dough chill overnight, which is what I did.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Remove bowl from refrigerator and scoop out 2-inch balls using a cookie scoop or spoon. Place dough balls two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. You don’t need to press them down.
Bake for 12 minutes. They should be light golden brown around the edges. Remove pans from oven and let cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on pan as they cool down. Use a spatula to take off pan and place cookies on a cooling rack. Enjoy! These cookies stay fresh for 1 week, if stored in an airtight container (such as a plastic or glass container with a lid) and will freeze nicely, in a freezer safe storage bag. Make sure to separate the cookies from each other by placing wax paper between layers (for fresh storage) or freezer paper for freezing them.
*Whether your coconut oil is liquid or solid, the consistency you’re looking for here is similar to that of room temperature softened butter. In my pantry, the coconut oil is more of a liquid so I popped it in the fridge for just a few minutes (after I measured it for the recipe, just to make it easier on myself) to solidify. If the coconut oil is too solid, just pop it in the microwave until it becomes the right consistency. Bottom line: you want the consistency of softened butter.
Update 12/30/13: If you are using crushed peppermint candies or candy canes (like the white, minty hard candies you get at a restaurant after a meal), I would caution you that the cookies will turn out much thinner and chewier than these made with the peppermint crunch baking bits, also spreading a lot more than these.