Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread

Happy Holidays to you!

It's my very favorite time of year: cookie exchange season! Normally, I make a molasses ginger spice cookie, but I was feeling very chocolate, so I turned to Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery Cookbook where I discovered the most delectable recipe for chocolate shortbread (and then modified it, because, well, I am me). From there, I went wild with ganache, peppermint sticks, you know, whatever I could find! Let's chat more later, but for now, here are some delicious, soft, chocolatey treats to enjoy!



Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread

The Shortbread
1-3/4 C plus 1-1/2 T flour
1 C plus 1-1/2 T cocoa (use fine quality like Valrhona if you can)
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
8 oz. unsalted butter
2 t kosher salt
3/4 C plus 1 T sugar

The Ganache
4 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
2 T butter
1 T cream

2-3 peppermint sticks, crushed

Make the cookie dough. Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Cream the butter until light, about one minute. Add the salt and then the sugar and cream together another 2 minutes, until fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter in 2 additions, scraping the bowl between additions. Roll the dough into a ball and then flatten it out to make a disc. Refrigerate 1-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325. Roll out your dough to about 1/8" thick and, using cookie cutter shapes, cut out your cookies. In this case, I refrigerated the dough in logs and simply sliced them, but shapes are SO much prettier!

Bake in batches, about 15 minutes per batch. 

Let cool.

Make the ganache. Melt the butter in a high-density saucepan on very low heat. Add the cream and heat until hot, but not boiling. Add the chocolate and let sit one minute. Stir until fully blended.

If you haven't already, crush your peppermint sticks (or candy canes) by placing them into a plastic baggie and either rolling over them with a rolling pin or just hitting them against your counters or floors until they're in tiny pieces.

Spread each cooled cookie with ganache and immediately sprinkle peppermint candy dust over them. Let them set about 20 minutes (at least) and up to 2 days. Serve with hot tea or, if you're really feeling decadent, hot cocoa. Merry, merry!

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