Peppermint Hot Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Serves 14 - 16 cookies

ingredients


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 tablespoon crushed peppermints

for ganache and topping
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy pieces

instructions


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high for 3 minutes. Add sugar and extracts, and continue beating for 2 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, then add the cocoa and salt. Beat just until combined, then stop the mixer to scrape down the sides. Add crushed peppermint, then turn mixer back on low for a few seconds just until combined.
  3. On a sheet of wax paper, pat and form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour (if you need to speed up the process, you can chill in the freezer for 30 minutes).
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Remove the wax paper from the dough and slice the log into 1/2-inch thick slices. Lay cookies on lined baking sheets. Bake until firm, about 18 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

for the ganache:

  1. Add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips to a small saucepan. Melt the chocolate chips on low heat. Slowly add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and stir for a few minutes until the chocolate and cream have combined into a silky consistency. Add peppermint extract. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Dip a little over half of each cookie into the chocolate ganache and return to the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
  3. Sprinkle the chocolate portion of each cookie with the crushed peppermint, let dry, then eat up!