Friday, December 2, 2011

Peppermint Mocha Sandwich Cookies

Happy December, everyone! It's that time of year when the coffee places start bringing out their winter goods. And, for whatever reason, my favorite beverage this year is peppermint mocha! I had to make some cookies for a bake sale for The Kid's daycare, and I decided to try to recreate my favorite drink in cookie form.

Like all cookies, these start out with softened butter.

Brown and white sugars come next.

The butter and sugars get creamed together until they're nice and smooth.

Measure and add some flour.

And some cocoa powder.

To get that coffee flavor, I wanted to use some instant coffee. However, I don't drink instant coffee, and I didn't want to buy a big container for just a few tablespoons. Luckily, I had some of this!

It's Starbucks' Via coffee--a mixture of instant and finely ground coffee. You just add hot water and you have a cup of hot, strong coffee. You could use either all instant or all finely ground, though. Espresso powder would be good.

Each packet yielded a little more than a teaspoon's worth of coffee (I'd guess about a teaspoon and a third.)

I used three packets--the next time, I might add four. If I were using a weaker coffee, such as Folger's, I'd double the amount. Starbucks coffee is pretty dark.

And yes, it was pointed out to me that I'm a coffee snob. I don't even drink the coffee at work because I think it tastes like coffee water.

Baking soda will help the cookies rise.

Baking powder, too.

Salt's always important in baked goods, especially things with chocolate. Salt really helps bring out the flavor of...well, just about everything.

Mix in the dry ingredients, and then add the eggs.

And add the vanilla. I didn't photograph that step, for whatever reason. Secrecy, I guess?

You should have a nice, thick dough that smells like a mocha in a bowl.

To up the chocolate factor, what better to add than chocolate chunks?

And to add that peppermint aspect, I grabbed some candy canes.

Use a can or some other heavy thing (like an unopened bottle of sesame oil) to crush the candy canes. You may need to double-bag the plastic bags, since the candy shards are pretty sharp and will make your bag hole-y.

I crushed them up fairly fine, but not to dust.

About a dozen small candy canes will yield you about 1/3 of a cup.

Fold the chunks and candy cane bits into the dough.
Because these are going to become sandwich cookies, it's pretty important that they turn out to be roughly the same size. So I used a small ice cream scoop to measure the dough.

I rolled the dough into balls and dipped the tops into some decorating sugar.

I used some peppermint sugar that I had on hand.

This made them pretty sweet. You could skip this step, but then you won't get the pretty sprinkles on top. So, it's your choice whether to bedazzle your cookies or not.
Set the cookies on a greased cookie sheet, and pop them in the oven.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool completely before adding the filling.

Speaking of the filling, its delicious fatty base is butter and shortening.

And, to focus on the coffee/cocoa drink aspect again, I added some marshmallow fluff.

Whip everything together until the filling is nice and fluffy.

Looks good already!

I keep squinting at the TV in this pic. I'm pretty sure I'm either watching Miami Animal Police or something on the History Channel about mobsters.
Powdered sugar will make the filling more frostinglike.

Peppermint extract will add even more to the peppermint flavors going on.

This is a nice, manageable frosting. The marshmallow fluff saw to that.

Spread a generous amount of frosting on a (completely cooled) cookie.

Then make yourself a nice, fat sandwich.

Roll the sandwiches in more crushed candy canes. Or sprinkle/press it on, if you don't like your cookies to look like they have five o'clock shadows.

Serve these cookies with a nice tall glass of milk, coffee, cocoa, eggnog, or your favorite holiday drink. These were popular at The Kid's bake sale--and they'll be popular with your family, too!

Recipe: Peppermint Mocha Sandwich Cookies
1 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. white sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 c. flour
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp. strong instant coffee granules (or 3 tbsp. weaker coffee granules)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package chocolate chunks
1/3 c. crushed peppermint candy

2-3 tbsp. decorating sugar (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars, and cream together. Add flour, cocoa, coffee granules, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined. Stir in eggs and vanilla.

Add chocolate chunks and peppermint candy. Stir until combined.

Roll cookies into small balls. Dip the tops of the balls in decorating sugar, and then place at least 1" apart on a well-greased sheet. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely before adding filling.

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening, softened
1 jar marshmallow cream
3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract

crushed peppermint candy

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; mix until light and fluffy.

Spread filling generously between two cooled cookies. Roll cookies in crushed peppermint cookies.


  1. There is a holiday cookie contest at work and I think these will be perfect! And I'm going to make my husband help by crushing the candy!

  2. Let me know how they go over! I made mine for a fundraiser for my kid's daycare; I worked the fundraiser for a couple hours, but it was before the lunch hour so not many people ate that early. I went home to bake some pies for Thanksgiving, and then came back, and between 10:30-1 they were completely devoured!

  3. How many eggs? I was confronted with this in the middle of making them - 2 didn't seem right, so I used 3. The first batch is in the oven, I guess we'll find out!

  4. Oh, sorry, 2! I'll go back and edit them in! Let me know how 3 worked out--I imagine you'd get really moist, chewy cookies!

  5. It seemed to go fine, but I ran into so many roadblocks while making them (butter wouldn't cream, they stuck to the cookie sheet, the filling wouldn't come together until I added peppermint schnapps...) that I haven't even tried one! I got rave reviews from my boss and boyfriend, though.

  6. I don't think something with butter, sugar, chocolate, and peppermint schnapps could ever be a failure ;)