The peppermints can be crushed in a food processor or placed in a plastic bag, covered with a kitchen towel, and smashed using the flat side of a mallet or a skillet. They will melt when baked within the star cutouts, which vary in sizes. Look for shapes that have a smaller (about 1 inch) counterpart to use for removing the interior space.
- Total Time:
- Yield: Makes 40
Photography: Emily Kate Roemer
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2011
- 20 round hard peppermint candies
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Finely grind peppermint candies in a food processor.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg, then vanilla, and beat for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, and gradually beat in flour mixture until combined, about 2 minutes. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut out star shapes using 2 1/2-, 4 1/2-, and 5-inch cookie cutters. Cut a smaller star from the center of each cookie using cookie cutters that are about 1 inch smaller than the larger cutter used. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1 inch apart. Bake until slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes.
Fill the center of each cookie with ground peppermints. Bake until candy melts, about 6 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets set on wire racks for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks, and let cool completely.