Saturday, January 16, 2016

Food52: White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt

I originally meant to make these cookies for Christmas.  You can see how that plan panned out.  But I still had these candy canes sitting on my counter, staring at me.  And I didn't want to just throw them away.  So I decided to go ahead and make the darn cookies even though it's January and everyone is all Christmas-ed out.  Because cookies are delicious no matter the time of year.  And these are especially good with the vanilla salt on the top, so don't skip that part.

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt
Adapted from

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
Vanilla salt (made by combining 2 tablespoons fleur de sel and ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light in color and texture, 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well to combine. Again, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt to combine.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until streaks of flour still run throughout. Add the chocolate and peppermint candies then mix until everything just comes together. Finish the dough by hand, taking care to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly distributed.

At this point, it is best to refrigerate the dough for 24 hours. Resting the dough intensifies the deep toffee flavors, and the texture of the baked cookie improves.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 360°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough onto the baking sheets, 9 cookies per pan. Top the cookies with a pinch of vanilla salt just before baking.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate the sheets halfway through if the cookies appear to be baking unevenly. The cookies should be lightly golden on the outside but still look quite gooey on the inside. 

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. These are best eaten the day of baking but will keep, if well sealed, for up to 2 days.

Makes 18 big cookies

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