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Chocolate-and-Peppermint Stars

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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.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 40

Photography: Emily Kate Roemer

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2011

Ingredients

  • 20 round hard peppermint candies
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Finely grind peppermint candies in a food processor.

  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Cook's Notes

Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw before using. Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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