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Fudgy Peppermint Cookies

Ottawa Food Photographer_0002Can I just start with the fact that I’m really getting into this cookie photography thing? The challenge of keeping shots clean and crisp (as is needed with food photography) — yet using a background/setting that isn’t always the same — has proven to be pretty fun!

This past weekend, before prepping early-Christmas turkey dinner, I made three recipes. That’s right, I’m a binge baker. It was the last day before we got snow, so there were still leaves on many of the trees. I ran out to grab some for this culinary photoshoot. Last week’s recipe was very fall friendly, and this week I’m transitioning into winter.

I bring you: Better Homes and Garden’s “Chocolate-Mint Snow-Top Cookies.” These chewy cookies are best within a couple days. You can freeze them, but they tend to dry out a little, and the best thing about them is their fudgey goodness, so I recommend immediate consumption.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/4teaspoon salt
1 1/2cups semisweet chocolate pieces
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon mint flavoring (I double this amount for a more pronounced flavour, and I actually use peppermint & mint flavouring, as I couldn’t find just mint flavouring the first time I went to make this recipe)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of the chocolate pieces over low heat until melted, stirring constantly.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate, eggs, vanilla, and mint flavoring.
  3. Gradually beat in the flour mixture and remaining chocolate pieces. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm enough to shape into balls. (This step is definitely necessary).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in powdered sugar. Place balls about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are crackled. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer to wire racks; cool. Makes 54.

This is one of those recipes where you really need your oven temperature to be perfect and your baking sheets to be in just the right spot, or your crackle effect will be too much and it’ll look more like an earthquake. Be careful when you remove the cookies from the sheet; they tend to stick (if you can figure out how to stop this please share!). If you’re not careful removing them, that icing sugar will be jarred right off. The cookies will still taste amazing but won’t look as pretty!

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Ottawa, Ontario