Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Candy Cane Shortbread Dipped in Chocolate


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here!  The tree is up and decorated, stockings are hung, and even my Christmas cards are here and awaiting signing.  I've decided to get an earlier start this year because if you can believe this, sometimes I procrastinate (sad, but true) and I'm baking all day and shopping at night the week before Christmas.  Not this year.  I've spread out all the requirements on the to-do list, have a few parties in the works, and the week nights before Christmas I planned to be sprawled out on the couch with a blankie.  At least that's my plan anyways.  I think we all know how the best laid plans go.

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 the 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

Mint Syrup
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 over low heat.  Dip the corner of each cookie in the chocolate and sprinkle with a little crushed candy cane.

Enjoy,

Gina



18 comments:

  1. Gosh, I really really really hope you're bringing these to our cookie swap because they look fan.tas.tic!

    PS: How long do you think the mint syrup would keep in the fridge? Would it keep at all or just become all grainy?

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    1. You never know Azmina, lol. I'm not sure how long it would keep I used the whole batch in the recipe. I will test it out for you, but I'm thinking at least 2 or 3 days.
      -Gina-

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  2. Gina,
    I love your cookies with the mint syrup. Such a good idea. I'll have to make some, for some of my mint recipes. Your cookies are gorgeous. Happy Baking!

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  3. Ha! I had a bit of a baking disaster over the weekend with peppermint extract...its now on my 'loathe' list right up there with yeast. This shortbread looks brilliant, though!

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  4. Your cookies look so festive and delicious :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  5. Delicious and beautiful! I'm a big fan of mint & chocolate, yet mint extract leave me cold usually. the mint syrup is brilliant. These are going on my must make list!

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  6. What a delicate looking cookie! I love shortbread, plus I love mint, so there you go! Haven't been commenting on my favorite blogs lately, just cuz I'm swamped... but keep up the lovely posts. I enjoy every one!

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  7. Ain't they just gorgeous and festive! I have made mint syrup before, but never thought of using it in cookies. Love the idea, Gina.

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  8. I love shortbread cookies, but never had one that has candy cane candies in it! What a brilliant and cute idea. These are so beautiful, perfect for the holiday!

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  9. I love making (and eating) shortbread cookies, but these are the first I've seen with candy canes. They look delicious and very pretty!

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  10. Again, very pretty (and no doubt tasty). Like I said, you can't go wrong. Whatever you make is gold.

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  11. These look wonderful! Pefect for the holidays. I'm printing the recipe as we speak and can't wait to give them a try.

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  12. Beauties Gina! Love the look of your shortbread-hope a few are coming my way ;-)
    Look forward to seeing you soon-I'm glad you will be relaxed because you've crossed everything off your to-do list, except-to have fun this holiday season ;-)

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  13. I love shortbread and I love candy canes. But have I ever thought of putting the two together? No! What a fool I've been. Thanks to enlightening me. These really look super - thanks.

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  14. Yay!!! Ok... I guess I'd better really get started on that typing now to pay you back!!! Awesome, awesome recipe. I think Christianne would love this one with the shortbread as well.LIv is going to a sleepover with about 20 girls next weekend, and we are bringing cookies. I think I just found my recipe!!! Thanks Gina!!!

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    Replies
    1. Have fun Kim, I only wish I could come and be in on the sleepover, lol.

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  15. Oh, Gina! I LOVE shortbread. I don't think there's a cookie that goes better with coffee than it. It's such a pure and simple list of ingredients, but such a rich and satisfying cookie. Adding the hint of mint just takes it over the top. How cool that you did this, and pulled Kim and me together with a cookie even though we're on opposite sides of the country. Thanks!

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  16. I love shortbread cookies, these are so pretty!

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