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Holiday cookies: Day 14 — Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

CHOCOLATE CANDY CANE COOKIES

Bake time: About 11 minutes

Makes about 18 sandwich cookies

This recipe is from the December 2005 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

Ingredients:

Cookies

13/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg

Filling

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 drops (or more) red food coloring

1/4 cup crushed red-and-white-striped candy canes or hard peppermint candies (about 4 ounces)

Instructions:

For cookies: Whisk flour, cocoa and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg. Add dry ingredients; beat until blended. Refrigerate dough one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out dough by level tablespoonfuls, then roll into smooth balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using bottom of glass or hands, flatten each ball to 2-inch round (edges will crack). Bake until cookies no longer look wet and small indentation appears when tops of cookies are lightly touched with fingers, about 11 minutes (do not overbake or cookies will become too crisp). Cool on sheet five minutes. Transfer to racks and cool.

For the filling: Using electric mixer, beat powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Add peppermint extract and two drops food coloring. Beat until light pink and well-blended, adding more food coloring by dropfuls if darker pink color is desired. Spread 2 generous teaspoons filling evenly over flat side of one cookie to edges; top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing gently to adhere. Repeat with remaining cookies and peppermint filling.

Place crushed candy canes on plate. Roll edges of cookie sandwiches in crushed candies (candies will adhere to filling).

Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature up to three days or freeze up to two weeks.

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