Cookies, Again

I refuse to believe that trading recipes is silly. Tuna fish casserole is at least as real as corporate stock.
— Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

As promised, here’s the recipe for my favorite of the cookies Karen and I made last weekend:

Peppermint Candy Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 c. butter (no substitutes), softened
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. crushed candy canes or other peppermint candies
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. corn starch
  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Mix butter, sugar, crushed candy, and vanilla thoroughly using an electric mixer.  Gradually blend in flour and corn starch.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Gently press down on each cookie to flatten using fingers or bottom of a glass dipped in sugar (to prevent sticking).
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.  Cool on pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Ice if desired (see below).
  • Icing (this is the recipe we used, not the one that came with the cookie recipe – halve this and you’ll still have more than enough)

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp. butter, very soft
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-4 tbsp. milk, depending on consistency (if too thin, add more sugar; if too thick, add more milk)
  • Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.  Drizzle cookies with frosting and top with crushed peppermint candy, if desired (When I make these again, I’m going to skip the frosting step – it’s good, but I think they’d be perfect plain).

    We had our work Christmas party today.  There was a bake-off as part of the festivities, so I attempted the Death by Caramel bars that I was considering as part of cookie weekend.  I couldn’t find dulce de leche in the grocery store, and I didn’t have time to go to the Latin grocery store, so I attempted to make my own by melting caramels with cream.

    The recipe calls for the dulce de leche to be dolloped on top of the batter in the pan and then swirled into it to create pockets of caramel, which, in theory sounds heavenly.  The batter was pretty thick, though, and I’m not sure much of anything could have been swirled into it, and if it could be, it wasn’t this stuff I cooked up.  I ended up with a layer of caramel sauce on the top that just cooked with the rest of the batter and didn’t come out gooey at all.

    The result was just ok, and I’m disappointed I wasted all of what it cost to make it on something that wasn’t anything special.  I’m willing to try it again if I can find the dulce de leche, but I’ve still got nearly the entire pan of this batch left (it should go without saying that it didn’t win the bake-off).  Boo.


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