Christmas Cookies, complete with a video demo of how to smash candy canes

I made three types of cookies this year for Christmas (the actual holiday, not including the sugar cookies from a few weeks ago).

I made a huuge batch of chocolate peppermint cream bars (the recipe can be found here). They are a definite holiday crowd pleaser.

I began making Crunchy Toffee from my zine, Vegan Candyland, but let the toffee part cook a little bit too long and the sugar crystallized, which is no good. So I proceeded with the recipe and thought of how I could revamp the fudged up toffee. I was making the chocolate peppermint cream bars right afterward, so I made extra bottom layer dough and baked it in an 8×4-inch bread pan. When it came out of the oven, I crumbled up the toffee and stuck it atop the fudgy brownie layer!

Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies
(recipe below)

Peppermint Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Makes 2 dozen 

These incredibly chewy peppermint flavored cookies are scattered with chocolate chips and studded with bits of crushed candy canes. They are the perfect holiday cookie, but certainly can be enjoyed any time of year. The simplest way to crush the candy cane is in a plastic baggy with a pestle. These cookies don’t really brown, so don’t worry if they look under baked when you take them out of the oven. Plus, the red candy canes and the paleness of the cookies look festive! 

1/2 cup canola oil 

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract 

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 candy canes, crushed (yields about 1/2 cup) 

2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, stir together the canola oil, sugar, soy milk, vanilla, and peppermint extract.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the candy canes and chocolate chips. Add a splash of soy milk if the dough is dry or won’t hold together. 

Drop by spoonfuls, about two tablespoons each, onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten. The parchment is very important because if not used, the candy canes will melt and harden on the cookie sheet. You’ll spend hours scraping it off, then eventually go crazy from all the scraping. Use parchment! Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden around the edges and firm in the middle. Take out of the oven and immediately transfer to a wire cooling rack very carefully.

I made a little video of how to crush candy canes the badass way!


It’s been a while… [recipe]

I’ve neglected the cookie blog for way too long and I apologize! I’ve been really busy with lots of recipe making (which will be done in less than a month, by the way). The next step after that will be finding a publisher and creating this book! It’s all quite overwhelming, so if anyone has advice about the endeavor of getting published, I’m all ears!

In the meantime, Happy Holidays! I’ve included the recipe for my Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars, the perfect thing to make in the winter.

Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars

Makes 2-3 dozen

Whoa, man! These are pure chocolate and peppermint bliss! They’re not all that difficult or time consuming either, despite having three layers. They do call for a lot of chocolate chips, but feel free to halve the recipe and make in an 8×4-inch bread pan. Don’t even wait for the holidays to make these.

Bottom Layer:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup soy milk
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 scant cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Peppermint Cream:
1/2 cup margarine
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3-4 drops green food coloring (optional, but attractive)
2 tablespoons soy milk, plus more if needed

Chocolate Layer:
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bottom Layer: Melt the chocolate chips either in the microwave or in a glass bowl placed in boiling water. Remove from heat and stir in the soy milk and the cocoa powder. Cream together margarine and sugar with a strong fork, then add in the chocolate/soy milk/cocoa mixture and stir until incorporated. Add the vanilla, then the flour and salt. No need to sift.
In an 8×8-inch baking pan LINED WITH PARCHMENT PAPER (I cannot stress enough the importance), press out the dough evenly. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the center is firm and the edges are done, then cool.

Peppermint Cream: Meanwhile, cream together the margarine and powdered sugar. Add in the peppermint extract and food coloring (if using). Gradually add the soy milk until the mixture kind of resembles frosting. If it’s liquid, add more powdered sugar. If it’s stiff or dry, add more soy milk. Chill in the fridge until the bottom layer is cooled.

Chocolate Layer (Make this at the last minute): Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a glass bowl in boiling water, or over a double boiler.

Assembly: Spread the bottom layer evenly with peppermint cream, then chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Remove, then spread the top with the chocolate, creating a swirl pattern if you like. The chocolate will not spread out evenly due to the peppermint layer, but if you want it to be smooth, do a second layer of chocolate, halving the chocolate layer ingredients.
Let set, then cut as you like and enjoy!

(I also took a little hiatus from cookies to make a grinch gingerbread house!)