Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Royal Icing
16 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. peppermint extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
For royal icing:
4 c. (1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
3 TBSP meringue powder
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
4-6 TBSP warm water, depending on humidity of where you live
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and peppermint extract.
3. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat until well blended. Form dough into two discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
5. On a generously floured work surface, roll out the first disc of dough to a half-inch in thickness. Cut out cookies and place on baking sheets, spaced an inch apart.
6. Bake cookies until edges begin to firm but center still appears soft, 10-11 minutes. Cookies will appear underdone, but will firm up as they cool. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for five minutes, then transfer to racks and cool completely.
7. While cookies cool, make royal icing by placing confectioners' sugar, meringue powder, peppermint extract, and four TBSP water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beginning on low speed, mix ingredients. Add additional water, one TBSP at a time, until icing reaches desired consistency.
8. Turn mixer to medium-low and run for five minutes, until the sheen comes off the icing. Because royal icing dries very quickly, immediately place any unused icing in a tightly sealed storage container with a layer of plastic wrap directly on the icing. Keep in the refrigerator until use.
9. Decorate cookies according to Bridget's directions. Let dry, uncovered, overnight.
Pairs Well With
The best way I could think of to make cookies decorated to look like peppermint swirls even better was to actually use peppermint in the cookie. Chocolate and peppermint, that is. And then, just to take it all the way, I added peppermint to the icing.