Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News/TNS

These peppermint mocha Santa cookies taste as good as they look

By Erin Booke, The Dallas Morning News
Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News/TNS

Peppermint Mocha Santa, made by Shalise Quinlan, won first place in the beauty category during The Dallas Morning News cookie contest at Central Market in Dallas on Nov. 14, 2018.

The Dallas Morning News Central Market Holiday Cookie Contest 2018




Shalise Quinlan, Dallas

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks

1 cup sugar

4 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg white

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

10 ounces peppermint crunch baking chips, such as Andes brand, finely chopped

Royal Icing (recipe follows)

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix espresso powder and vanilla extract; stir until combined. Add espresso mixture to butter mixture and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, beat egg and egg white slightly. Add to butter mixture and blend thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Little by little, mix flour mixture into butter/sugar mixture. The dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle and has a little give, but does not stick to your fingers. Do not overmix. Stir in chopped peppermint chips. Let dough rest for a few minutes to firm up before rolling.

Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Chill dough in freezer 30 minutes. Cut cookies out and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place in freezer for another 30 minutes. (Freezing will make dough easier to cut. Freezing again just before baking will prevent spreading.)

Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake cookies 7-8 minutes, rotating the cookie pan halfway through baking.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Decorate your cookies using Royal Icing, sprinkles, or any other way you like.

Royal Icing: With an electric mixer, beat together 32 ounces powdered sugar, 5 tablespoons meringue powder, 3 teaspoons almond extract and 3/4 cup warm water.

Makes approximately 2 dozen, depending on cookie cutter size.

PER COOKIE: 370 calories, 12 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 63 g carbohydrates, 141 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein, 52 g sugar

SOURCE: Shalise Quinlan

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