Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peppermint Mocha Kiss Cookies

I really try not to cook like I bake, but it just happens. I know baking is science and you need to measure ingredients down to the ounce, but I've found that I have much more success with baking when I pay attention to things like humidity, temperature, and ingredients. About 99% of the time when I bake cookies, I add 1/2 c. or more flour to the recipe as written to keep my cookies from falling flat. I guess it's personal opinion, but I like fluffy, chewy, yet not buttery/greasy, cookies.

When I wrote this recipe, I tried to note the exact amount of each ingredient, but when I added the flour last, it was a bit more, then a bit more, to keep the dough soft and tender, but stiff enough to not fall flat around the kiss. Basically, you want to add 3.5 c. of flour, then if your dough is still stuck to the sides of the mixing bowl, add more flour as it's absorbed, until the dough can be pinched up in your fingers without leaving sticky bits behind. I know, not scientific like some bakers I know (and they're probably rolling their eyes at me!), but it works for me, and these cookies were SO good.

To make these with a stronger coffee/mocha flavor, go with the instant espresso, if you want mild coffee flavor, add the instant coffee, and for just chocolate peppermint, leave them both out. I prefer a strong coffee flavor, but made an additional batch without that was just as good.

Peppermint Mocha Kiss Cookies
Veggie by Season original

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. cocoa powder
3 1/2-4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
Optional: 1 tsp. instant espresso powder or 1 tsp. instant coffee
1 package of peppermint kisses

Yield: About 40 cookies

Preheat oven to 350*
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla, mix until incorporated, scrape down sides of the mixer.
Add espresso, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder, mix until incorporated.
Add 3 1/2 c. of flour to mixer, beat until absorbed, if dough is still sticking to sides of the mixer and wet, add up to another 1/2 c. of flour.
Pinch off walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into a ball, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet 3" apart.
Bake for 12 minutes, until puffed and set.
Remove and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Using your thumb, or the bottom of a wooden spoon (or anything to substitute), press indentations into cookies, then place a kiss in the center.
Cool cookies until kisses have re-set (they will melt a bit), you can refrigerate cookies to re-harden kisses, or just leave out until they firm up on their own, which takes a few hours. 

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I think once you've baked enough you definitely do get a feel for the texture that various doughs and batters should be! ANd I love the peppermint kiss in the center...those are my favorite!