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Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies

I absolutely do not have time to be posting this, but I absolutely can not wait another year to do it so I’m squeezing it in for your benefit (don’t you feel special?), and also to participate in the Christmas recipe roundup for All Through The Year Cheer.

Every winter, these Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips make an appearance on the baking aisle by the chocolate chips. Until last year, I ignored them because I’d never seen a recipe that used them and I’m not a huge mint enthusiast except when it comes to Girl Scout Thin Mints. After last Christmas, however, they were deeply discounted and, being unable to resist a bargain, I decided to buy a few bags and come up with some recipes for them.

*Note: despite the name, the baking chips are not crunchy like peppermint candy, but more like the consistency of white chocolate chips with tiny little pieces of peppermint candy in them…thus the “crunch” in the name.

Lucky for me, the first recipe I tried ending up tasting just like my cherished Thin Mints, except very soft and buttery with a homemade taste.   The red flecks peeking through the dark chocolate gives them a festive appearance, and peppermint is probably the flavor most associated with Christmas, and it’s even better when paired with chocolate!

If you see the chips on sale after Christmas, stock up on them so you can make these cookies throughout the year. (I actually used year-old chips on this batch of cookies and they tasted perfect, so you can even stock up a year in advance in preparation for next Christmas!)  They may have a festive look, but the taste is classic and can be enjoyed in any season.

Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies
If you can not find dark cocoa powder, regular may be substituted.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt
1 (12-oz) bag Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, a few minut

es. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla and mix well. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt and mix just until combined. Mix in the mint & chocolate chips last.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 6 minutes (10-12 for larger cookies), or until just starting to set around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet (sitting atop a cooling rack) for sev

eral minutes before removing to the cooling rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Once cool, store the cookies in an airtight container.  If you’re making them in advance, they freeze well for months on end.  My method for freezing cookies is putting them in rows inside a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and sticking them in the freezer until needed.

*You can use regular chocolate chips if you will be making larger cookies with a tablespoon like those pictured first.  I usually make them small, the size of thin mints, like in the pictures below.

Recipe & photos by Veronica Miller

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