This pretty cookie is a welcome holiday treat to share with neighbors and family.
MAKES: 20 sandwich cookies
TOTAL TIME: 1 Hour plus chilling
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, if needed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 candy peppermints, crushed into a fine powder
1 tablespoon whole milk plus more, if needed
1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, pushing down sides with a rubber spatula, as needed. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture by the spoonful; mix until no dry bits of flour appear in the dough.
4. Wrap dough tightly in plastic; gently press into a disk. Refrigerate at least an hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, dusting lightly with powdered sugar, if needed, until 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thick. Use a round 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as possible. Gather dough; reroll until all dough is used.
7. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until the tops have set; allow cookies to cool on baking sheet until ready to carefully transfer to a cooling rack (cookies are sensitive to breaking when warm).
8. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening until combined. Add powdered sugar, peppermint extract, crushed candy and milk; mix until incorporated. The filling should be a fairly dry yet spreadable consistency. Add milk in 1/2-teaspoon increments if filling is not coming together.
9. Use an offset spatula to spread a small amount of frosting on bottom halves of sandwich cookies.
10. Place remaining cookies on top; gently squeeze each sandwich together to spread filling to the edges. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
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