12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Peppermint Melt-Aways

by Elizabeth on December 24, 2013 · 0 comments

in christmas cookies, recipes

Peppermint Meltaways | Adventures in Life, Love, and Librarianship

This is it!  Your last cookie recipe of 2013!  What have you made this year?  What’s been your favorite?  I think my favorite is tied with the Funfetti Christmas Trees and the Brownie Bite Surprises.  I really, really liked those.

Today’s recipe for Peppermint Melt-Aways is another great, small cookie.  They were perfect as the dessert, along with the brownie bites, for my holiday open house.  I thought having a combination of something minty and something chocolatey would cover all the bases for Christmas flavors.  🙂

Before we get to the recipe for the peppermint melt-aways, I need to warn you.  This is the most delicate cookie I’ve ever worked with.  I broke three while transferring them to the cooling racks and several fell apart during the party.  Because there is no egg to bind everything together, these cookies are extremely fragile.  Melt-away means that they quite literally melt away, both in your hand and in your mouth.  That also means they have a very delicate and light feel, which I really liked.  Just be careful when moving these around.

Some tips that will help you keep these light and fluffy:  follow the directions.  Baking is a science, not an art.  This cookie recipe is extremely precise for a reason.  This is not the time to be experimenting.  Do everything very gently: use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar; lightly spoon the sugar, flour, and cornstarch into the measuring cups – don’t scoop it up out of the container, spoon it into the cup and then level it off; use unsalted butter so as not to alter the tender texture and flavor.

Please don’t take these tips as an idea that these cookies are too difficult for the inexperienced baker.  These are actually extremely easy cookies, with very few ingredients.  You just need to be very careful and follow the directions exactly.  If you do that, you should have a perfect light and delicate peppermint cookie.

Peppermint Meltaways | Adventures in Life, Love, and Librarianship

Peppermint Melt-Aways
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1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract*
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cornstarch
Icing, see below
Crushed peppermints or candy canes

Cream butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Beat in peppermint extract.  In a small bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch together.  Add it to butter mixture in stages, mixing well between each addition.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line baking sheets with parchment, silicone baking mats, or greased aluminum foil.

Roll cookies into small balls, about 1 inch and the size of a gumball.  Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing about an inch to an 1 1/2 inches apart.  If the dough becomes too soft to work with, put it back in the refrigerator for 5 or 10 minutes so it can firm up again.

Bake cookies 10-12 minutes.  The edges should be set and starting to turn light golden brown.  The tops will still be very pale.  Cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then (carefully!) transfer them to a rack to cool completely.  Spoon icing over the tops of the cookies and sprinkle with crushed peppermints.

1 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 teaspoon peppermint or vanilla extract**

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Icing should run easily off the spoon, but be thicker than a glaze typically would be.

*Peppermint extract is not the same as mint extract.  Make sure you’re using the right kind.
**I found the peppermint flavor to be quite strong so if you’d rather have a more delicate flavor, use vanilla.  But if you like the punch of peppermint, definitely use the peppermint extract.

-Adapted (barely) from Our Best Bites

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

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