Now this recipe I saw on Twitter and knew I had to give them a try. After all, I already had all of the ingredients on hand, including the peppermint extract. They were so easy to put together and I just knew they were going to turn out great. All the cookies I made this past weekend turned out awful but I thought these are simple so let’s go for it. My niece helped me with the dough so when we finally put them in the oven we were all set to eat some good cookies.
I’m not sure what happened but these did not turn out right. I have no doubt that made correctly these are scrumptious so I am positive it was something I did wrong. The taste was good but they were so flat. So I tried again without smushing them and just left them round. They were better but not perfect. I can only guess that my butter and sugar didn’t cream correctly. I was all set to throw them out but my mom said don’t — they are good. So maybe I’m just too hard on myself and they were ok after all.
Peppermint Stick Shortbread from The Luna Cafe
3 cups King Arthur’s unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
6 ounces peppermint sticks or candy canes (1 cup crushed candy)
1½ cups unsalted butter, at cool room temperature (3 cubes)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt. Reserve. Put the peppermint sticks in a sealable plastic bag, remove air from the bag, seal, and then crush with a mallet. Measure 1 cup of crushed peppermint candy. Reserve. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts, and incorporate. Add the flour mixture and mix on very slow speed very briefly, just until a dough forms. Add the crushed peppermint sticks and mix just to incorporate.
Using a #40 (1½ tablespoon) commercial scoop, scoop level portions of dough and place side-by-side in a container. (For a less jagged finished edge, roll the portions of dough into smooth balls with your hands after scooping.) If you run out of room, it’s fine to put a second layer of dough mounds on top of the first layer. They will easily pull apart after they are chilled. Cover the container. Refrigerate dough for at least 4 hours before baking.
Place well chilled mounds of dough 1-inch apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Place a small piece of plastic wrap over each cookie and then flatten to ½-inch thick with a flat or textured mallet to a diameter of 1¾ inches. (They will spread to 2¼ inches as they bake.)
Bake at 375° for about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, rotating pans at the halfway point to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen each cookie with a thin spatula and let cool for 3-4 minutes on the pan. Remove cookies from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack and cool completely. Store airtight in layers separated by wax paper rounds in a cookie tin in a cool, dry place. These cookies improve with age. If stored properly, they keep for 3-4 weeks.
Makes 2 dozen, 2¼-inch diameter cookies.