Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies

I’m bringing you yet another sweet recipe today and I’m not one bit upset about it.

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

And you shouldn’t be either! If you didn’t catch my last post, be sure to pop on over to get the 4-1-1 on how I feel about keeping that balance this time of year.  We’re not going to worry about eating a little more than our fair share of indulgent treats this week because, hey, you only live once! We’ll catch up on the healthy stuff for our in-between meals and at the start of the New Year. But today all we need to worry about are these Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies.

And man, do these Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies deserve some talking about. This recipe has been a family favorite for at least 15 years now, which is quite the feat for a family that always love trying all the new recipes and flavor combinations that abound every year. They’re my personal favorite, of the five or so cookie flavors my mom makes every year, so I finally got her to share the recipe with me.

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

The recipe my mom shared with me is actually for plain ol’ Chocoholic Cookies, which comes from a book in a cooking murder-mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson called “The Main Corpse.” Yes, there are cooking murder-mysteries and yes, my mom and I have actually made quite a few fantastic recipes from them.

But of course, me being who I am, I couldn’t leave the original recipe alone when it came to making these Chocoholic Cookies in my own kitchen. I had to go ahead and make them Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies. And boy, did they turn out amazing! Oat-y, chocolate-y, GIANT cookies dipped in peppermint white chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes? There’s no way you can go wrong.

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been making a batch of cookies here and there and popping them in the freezer to have at a moment’s notice for last-minute guests or neighborly gifts. These Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies have definitely been added to the stockpile, although the hubs and I seem to be finding our way into the stash more often than not. We just can’t leave them be! We’ll see how many cookies are left when we actually need them 😉

One thing I really love about these Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies (besides how insanely delicious they are) is how easy they are to make! They’re a simple drop cookie and the dough doesn’t need any time to set up in the freezer or refrigerator. They’re loaded with oats, cocoa powder and chocolate chips, which make every bite a literal party in your mouth. And they’re finished baking in under 15 minutes!

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

The hardest part about making this recipe is dipping the cookies in a cloak of peppermint white chocolate after they’re baked and sprinkling on the crushed candy cane pieces. Oh, and then the waiting for the white chocolate to set up….It’s a bit torturous but I have faith in you! They’re totally worth the wait.

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

Basically, Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies NEED to be added to your annual cookie rotation ASAP. They’ve been a huge hit with every single person who’s tried them, so I don’t think anyone you gift them to will be disappointed. Make them now, stash them in your freezer, and have delicious chocolate-peppermint-y sweetness ready to go at a moment’s notice. So get on it!

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
27 mins
 

Delicious, oat-filled double chocolate cookies dipped in peppermint white chocolate and topped with crushed candy cane pieces.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy cane pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats and chocolate chips, set aside.

  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and both sugars using the paddle attachment until creamy.

  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. The batter will be very stiff at this point.

  5. Stir the milk and vanilla into the beaten eggs, and then add this to the stiff butter mixture, beating until thoroughly combined. Add the oat and chocolate chip mixture and stir until well-mixed. 

  6. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, drop batter two inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until cooked through. Cool on pan for one minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 

  7. Melt the white chocolate with the peppermint extract and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler (or use a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water). Holding a cooled cookie between your thumb and forefinger, dip the edge into the white chocolate to cover the top third of the cookie. Place on a rack over parchment paper and immediately sprinkle on some crushed candy cane pieces (before the white chocolate dries completely.)

  8. Let white chocolate dry completely (this will take an hour or so) and then store in a re-sealable container with pieces of parchment paper in between to keep them from sticking.

Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

So freakin’ festive!

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Peppermint Chocoholic Cookies | CaliGirlCooking.com

Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup

Oh, for the love of peppermint.

Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup | CaliGirl Cooking

I am quite the fan of this version of minty goodness and yes, I have been known to order a peppermint latte at Starbucks even in the middle of spring. Don’t judge. There is just something so refreshing and cozy about it. Need a cup of comfort? Peppermint tea coming right up.

But since we are at the height of the holidays right now (oh hey Christmas in less than a week!), and I’m not sure all of you readers are quite as peppermint-crazed as I am to enjoy it throughout the entire year, I figure now is a completely appropriate time to share this recipe for Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup, right? Right.Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup | CaliGirl Cooking

I came up with this idea because, even though I love the flavored syrups all that all of our favorite coffee chains use to flavor their warm drinks, I always have to ask for like HALF of a pump in my orders. They are just too, too sweet and I’m sure they are probably full of so many artificial ingredients that my body us like “WTH?” whenever I down one.

Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup | CaliGirl Cooking

That, and the fact that nowadays I honestly don’t get out to Starbucks or Peet’s that much. I put a big pot of coffee on as soon as I wake up in the morning and the next thing you know I’m off to work with my little Contigo travel mug (love them, BTW) and by the time I’m headed home it is way too late to consume any caffeinated beverages and all I really want to do is go put on my stretchy pants and make dinner.

So, because of my completely unexciting daily routine, I decided I wanted to have my own version of peppermint syrup to add to my standard coffee in the mornings and really make it feel like some of my favorite holiday beverages, hence my Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup was born. The one best thing about this is that I completely control the ingredients, so I know exactly what I’m putting in my body. The other best thing is that I can also control how much I add to my coffee. Some days I may feel like a little extra sweetness, but most of the time it’s just the touch of peppermint that I really enjoy.

And making this is way easier than you might think: mix up a batch of simple syrup and start heating it on the stove; once it starts to bubble just a tiny bit, add the vanilla bean, peppermint extract and candy canes (for  that pretty red color!) Let it simmer for a bit for everything to meld together, and there you have it!

Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup | CaliGirl Cooking

I must also say that the delicious Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup is good for so much more than coffee. You can add it to hot chocolate too, and maybe even use it in a holiday cocktail of some sort? It’s very versatile and a great addition to anything that you want to add a little holiday flavor to.

I’m keeping it short today because this is such a special time of year and I really want to focus on being “present” with family and friends, but I hope you all have a wonderful last few days leading up to Christmas and I’ll check in one more time before the big day to share an ultra-special cocktail recipe with you! Hugs.

Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups of syrup

This Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup is the perfect addition to our (necessary) holiday caffeine fix and any hot or cold drink that you simply want to make more festive!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place water and sugar in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, whisking continuously. Add vanilla bean seeds, peppermint extract and candy canes.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes (candy canes should be almost if not all the way melted at this point.)
  3. Pour through a sieve (to remove any large clumps) into a small glass jar or pitcher. Let cool. Syrup can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
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https://www.caligirlcooking.com/peppermint-vanilla-bean-coffee-syrup/

Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Syrup | CaliGirl Cooking

Pepperminty delicious madness.

Peppermint Bark Brownies

10 days ’til Christmas!

Peppermint Bark Brownies | CaliGirl Cooking

 

I really cannot believe it. I don’t know about you but I feel like every year the holiday season goes by more and more quickly. When we were young ‘uns, I feel like the days and weeks leading up to the “Big Day” would just creeeeeep by, and now we blink and it’s here and we haven’t even come close to crossing all of our holiday to-dos off our bucket list.

Peppermint Bark Brownies | CaliGirl Cooking

Have you even started your cookie baking yet? I haven’t and I’m starting to stress just a little bit. I know it’s nothing that I HAVE to do, but it was such a fun tradition for me growing up that I really want to try to continue it as best I can. Today I finally made my list of everything I want to make. I’m thinking if I can squeeze in making one recipe every other day or so I can get them all in before Christmas. Somewhat wishful thinking, but I’m going to try my darndest!

But even though I haven’t made any cookies yet, I did manage to squeeze in some other holiday baking last weekend. Judging by my Instagram feed for the past 15 days, I feel pretty comfortable in saying I know I’m not alone in my love for peppermint bark. I mean, who doesn’t count down the days until those red and white striped tins show up at Trader Joe’s and Williams-Sonoma?

Peppermint Bark Brownies | CaliGirl Cooking

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it much here on the blog before, but one of my other favorite desserts (that I don’t feel guilty enjoying year round) is a nice, fudgy, chewy brownie. Seriously, is there any season that brownies don’t fit into? I can’t think of one.

Given my intense love for these two things, brownies and peppermint bark, I decided it was time to combine them into a delicious holiday dessert —–> yea for Peppermint Bark Brownies! I started with a base brownie recipe that could do no wrong, Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc version. I’ve seen the recipe all over the blogosphere (see here and here), and I am a HUGE fan of Thomas Keller’s, so I figured it was time to give these a shot. I’m so glad I did. I’m pretty sure I’ve found my new favorite base brownie recipe.

Peppermint Bark Brownies | CaliGirl Cooking

And aside from the brownie base, turning these into a peppermint lover’s dream is soooo easy. I simply swapped some of the chopped chocolate with chopped peppermint bark, and added some peppermint extract to really give the brownies that extra kick. Dust with some powdered sugar after baking and cooling, and these Peppermint Bark Brownies will be so festive, they’ll make up for the fact that you haven’t baked anything else this holiday season (I mean, just in case!)

What are your favorite holiday baked goods? If you have a favorite recipe that you don’t mind sharing, please send it my way!

Peppermint Bark Brownies | CaliGirl Cooking

Peppermint Bark Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dutch processed/alkalized cocoa powder
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 ounces chocolate, chopped into chip-size pieces
  • 3 ounces chopped peppermint bark plus 2 additional ounces chopped bark for topping
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan (I used 8-inch only because I didn't have a 9-inch). Set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. Melt half the butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Add the remaining butter to the melted butter and stir. The butter should look creamy, with small bits of unmelted butter, and be at room temperature.
  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until thick and very pale. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts. On low speed, add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then add one-third of the butter, and continue alternating the remaining flour and butter. Add the chocolate and 3 ounces of chopped peppermint bark and mix to combine.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes if using a 9-inch pan, 55-65 minutes if using an 8-inch pan. A cake tester or wooden skewer poked into the center should come out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. If the pick comes out wet, test a second time, because you may have hit a piece of chocolate chip; then bake for a few more minutes longer if necessary.
  6. Cool in the pan until the brownie is at room temperature. Run a knife around the edges, and invert the brownie onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 rectangles or 16 squares. Dust the tops with powdered sugar just before serving.
  7. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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https://www.caligirlcooking.com/peppermint-bark-brownies/

Peppermint Bark Brownies | CaliGirl Cooking

Christmas Heaven on a plate.