Aren’t these Christmas cookies pretty? We’ve really been enjoying the holiday spirit the last few weeks getting everything ready for Greta’s first Christmas. We picked out and decorated our tree and bought a couple of personalized ornaments for our little girl, along with a very cute stocking featuring gingerbread men. I also took Greta’s 3 month pictures in one of her holiday outfits. This month she’s discovered her hands and is enjoying grabbing toys and chewing on them. She is also laughing all the time now and loves gazing at the Christmas lights and in the mirror.
I’m also proud to report that I ran my first post-baby race this weekend – the Jingle Bell 5K. It’s a super fun event where everyone gets decked out in holiday outfits. I finished in 31:01, which is a 9:59 minute per mile pace, so I’m still pretty far off from my best time, but I know I’ll get there eventually and it felt so amazing to be out competing again! I wore a sparkly Santa hat, which of course ended up on Greta’s head afterwards.
Greta also helped with a little quality control while I was baking Christmas cookies. During her inspection, she sneakily managed to stick her thumb in one of the cookies and got chocolate all over her pants…oops, rookie parent mistake!
The cookies were for Shannon’s annual cookie swap. I rolled out a chocolate dough and topped the cut out cookies with melted chocolate and peppermint crunch. They are quite festive! I hope everyone is having as much as we are getting ready for the holidays!
Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cookies
Chocolate Cookie Layer:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup peppermint crunch or crushed candy canes
To make the chocolate cookies, place butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl and mix until well creamed; stir in eggs, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt until soft dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or until well chilled.
Heat oven to 350˚F. Place dough on a lightly floured counter and roll out dough to a 1/4–inch thick circle using a floured rolling pin. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough (I got 28 cookies with my cookie cutter). Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes or until set. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.
Place 1 cup chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir well and microwave an additional 10 seconds; stir until smooth, microwaving an additional 10 seconds if needed. Use a spoon to spread chocolate evenly on the top of half the cookies and immediately sprinkle with half the peppermint crunch. Repeat with remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and peppermint crunch. Let cookies sit at room temperature for two hours or until chocolate hardens. Makes 28 cookies.
Nutrition: 221 calories, 10.9g fat, 1.7g fiber, 2.8g protein per cookie
Cost: $0.26 per cookie