In the kitchen baking once again. This time I've been bitten by the cookie bug. Or rather, I bit into a store bought peppermint tea cookie and thought I could do better. So I have! Besides, a batch of cookies are quite over due. I'm sure folks are starting to ponder their Christmas goodie-boxes and these are a festive play on those powdered tea cookie gems.
Besides, I have a gnome demanding cookies of me. And no, I won't explain that.
Today's recipe is a play on what many of us know as tea cookies, Russian tea cookies, or Mexican wedding cookies, etc. These little powdered gems of crisp, pink buttery short dough are studded through with bits of peppermint candy rather than nuts. The result is an addictive little cookie that suddenly disappears and leaves your thighs and butt smeared with a multitude of powdered sugar hand prints.
Napkins are so overrated.
Pink Peppermint Tea Cookies
yields roughly 40 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 drop red food coloring gel
1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies
1 tablespoon very coarse red sugar*
1 cup powdered sugar for coating
*I recommend India Tree Holiday Red sugar for its huge grains. We're adding coarse sugar to the mix as the crushed candy canes disappear in the dough, leaving folks confused and wondering what the invisible crunchy bits are. Add speckles of red sugar and suddenly the cookie makes sense--and it looks pretty darn good too.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two pans with parchment or silicone baking liners.
Cube up your butter and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften. You don't want it too soft for this recipe, just warm enough that you can work with it.
In your mixer equipped with the paddle, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium high speed for three-four minutes until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the drop of red food coloring and peppermint extract, beat again until well mixed, scraping down the bowl as needed.
While that is going on, combine the flours, salt, crushed candy and red sugar together.
Add the flour mixture to your mixing bowl of what is essentially pink peppermint butter cream frosting and mix on low speed to combine. Scrape down the sides as needed.
Once the dough has is evenly mixed and has just come together, stop beating.
Roll the dough into balls just under 1" (about 17g each). Collect the balls on a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Once chilled, arrange the balls on your baking sheet, leaving 2" of space between each.
Bake the pans for 12-15 minutes, rotating once half way through baking until the cookies have a golden blush and the bottoms are brown.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire wrack before coating with powdered sugar. To coat: add the cup of powdered sugar to a large bowl or plastic bag and add the cookies, a few at a time. Toss gently to coat and then repeat with the remaining cookies.
Store the cookies in a single layer (or layered between parchment) for up to 4 days at room temperature in an air tight container.
Enjoy the cookies!
As for my slow pace of blogging of late: I've been working on another wonderful cake recipe this month and I had hoped to have a cake ready for today. Unfortunately though, the death of my much needed dishwasher has inhibited my ability to use every dish in my house to test and retest recipes. Hopefully I'll have it sorted by the next blog post. Until then, I hope everyone has a very happy weekend.