During the holidays each year, I try to come up with a fun new cookie recipe. Sure, I enjoy making the usuals like gingerbread, chocolate chip, and oatmeal cookies (and no one complains about eating them, either), but there’s just something fun about letting creativity take over to come up with new flavor combinations.
I have a soft spot in my heart for what I like to call “red cup season.” You know, the season when Starbucks switches over to the red holiday cups! There are few things that get me into the Christmas mood like a steaming coffee in a red cup from Starbucks.
Though lately I usually opt for unsweetened coffee, finding many drinks too sweet for my tastes, I still enjoy the occasional peppermint mocha from Starbucks. There’s just something about the combination of coffee, chocolate, and peppermint that makes me weak in the knees. When I was working full time and going to the office every day, I would pick one up in the morning on my way to work (more often than I’d like to admit!). And, I always loved the way my office would smell like a peppermint patty for the rest of the morning!
So, as I was dreaming up new cookie flavors this year, I decided to try my hand at a peppermint mocha inspired cookie. I had a bag of Candy Cane Kisses in the pantry just waiting for some inspiration, so I settled on a peppermint mocha version of the traditional peanut butter blossom cookie. I was thrilled with how the cookies turned out, and I may just have to add them to my list of “usual” cookies for next Christmas!
Peppermint Mocha Blossoms
(Makes approximately 4 dozen)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- About 1/2 cup granulated sugar to coat cookies
- Approximately 4 dozen Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease your baking sheets, or line with parchment, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and espresso powder until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture until the dough comes together.
Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and coat with granulated sugar. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before pressing a Candy Cane Kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.