I love the peppermint/chocolate combination, and it seems to be most readily available during the holidays. Why I can’t get peppermint M&M’s year round is beyond me, but I’ll take what I can get. Every year I make a vow to discover the perfect peppermint hot chocolate, and every year I find myself disappointed when the holidays come to a close. If anyone knows of an amazing hot chocolate distributor in the Portland, OR area, please...hook a girl up.
Also, Trader Jo's Candy Cane Joe-Joes are pretty much the best thing on Earth. If you've never tried them, leave your house RIGHT NOW and buy a box. You'll be glad you did.
To satiate the chocolate/peppermint craving, here’s a recipe for Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Peppermint Frosting. They're not quite Joe-Joe's, but close enough. As you’ll notice from the photos, this baking frenzy happened during a rare Seattle snowstorm (perfect backdrop!), and I added crushed candy canes for added zing. More peppermint! MORE!
1 2/3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 1/4 cups (about 14 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring or extract
Pinch of fine salt
For the cookies, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a second large bowl, beat sugar and egg together with an electric mixer until pale and thickened, about 2 minutes; beat in vanilla. Add butter and beat again until smooth, about 1 minute more. Add flour mixture in two parts and beat until combined. Shape dough into two logs then wrap each snugly in parchment paper, twisting the ends in opposite directions. Make it uniformly round and about 8 inches long. Chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices and transfer to prepared baking sheets, arranging cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and just cooked through, 9 to 10 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
For the frosting, put sugar, milk, butter, peppermint flavoring and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Spread the flat side of half of the cookies with some of the frosting, then sandwich with remaining cookies. Serve immediately or store cookies in an airtight container until ready to serve.