One of those requirements on my to-do list is get all my cookie recipes locked down before the holiday. I have to admit, Peppermint & Chocolate Cookies aren't something I regularly make. The reason is I'm not a fan of mint extract. (Probably doesn't help I took a big swig of that stuff to see what it tasted like and almost lost it.) Kim - Liv Life Too and Christiane - Taking on magazines asked me if I could share a recipe using these ingredients. So I fooled around with a mint syrup to see if I could impart that mint flavor without that weird aftertaste.
Even Hot Dog Dude approved of these and that is saying a lot, because he hates mint. I made the ones on the left for him, I called them "mint light", sans the extra peppermint bits.
Candy Cane Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
5-6 sprigs fresh spearmint
Place sugar, water and mint in a small saucepan and bring to a medium boil, let boil for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and cover and let sit for 20 minutes or so until cooled.
Strain out mint leaves, should yield about 2/3 cup. Set aside
Candy Cane Shortbread
3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 batch mint syrup
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy canes + more for sprinkling on top
Also need 6 ounces milk or dark chocolate, finely chopped
Combine in a bowl of a mixer the butter and mint syrup and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Stir in the candy cane bits. If you don't want to clean up candy cane bits from every corner of your kitchen; place the canes in a large ziploc bag and bash them with a flat heavy object.
Divide the dough into thirds and place a portion of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log and then press it into a square shape. You want it to be about 1 1/2 - 2 inches in diameter. Repeat for the other two portions.
Place the logs on a sheet pan and place in the freezer for 40 minutes or so until firm.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice off 1/2-inch slices from the rolls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpats a couple inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let cool.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and melt over low heat. Dip the corner of each cookie in the chocolate and sprinkle with a little crushed candy cane.