Cookie-Making Extravaganza Update: Day 1

Friday was the first of three days in my cookie-making extravaganza. Or, perhaps a better phrase would be holiday-treat extravaganza, as it's not all cookies.

First, I made fantasy fudge. It's a long-standing tradition in my family to make this fudge at least once—if not twice—during the holiday season.

Then I made Conservative Boy's favorite (well, one of them anyway): peanut butter blossoms.

And finally, I finished the day with a brand-new holiday cookie, that I first spotted after I completed my cookie-baking foray last year and vowed to try this year. They're chocolate candy cane cookies, courtesy of the lovely Pioneer Woman (whose photos are oh so much better than mine and cookies are considerably more perfect—alas, I try).

Don't they look tasty? They are.

You can get the full low-down on the cookie recipe on her site, but essentially it goes like this:

Cream 2 sticks of slightly softened butter with 1 cup powdered sugar.

Add 1 whole egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix to combine.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix until dough comes together. Refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap, for 2 hours.

While the dough is chilling, unwrap peppermint candies or small candy canes (I used the latter), place them in a plastic bag, and beat them with a mallet until they are crushed.

Use the rest of your two hours to give yourself a pedicure (PW's recommendation) or make homemade chicken noodle soup (that's what I did).

Once the 2 hours is up (or close to it, if you're impatient like I am), preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll the cookie dough into walnut-size pieces and place each piece on a cookie sheet. Gently press the balls flat with a plain, smooth surface (I used a Christmas mug to stay as festive as humanly possible).

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.

Once you remove the cookies from the oven, place them on a cooling rack and cool them completely.

Meanwhile, melt 4 ounces of almond bark or white baking chocolate (I used the chocolate, although PW recommends the almond bark).

Dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate, coating half the cookie. Immediately sprinkle crushed peppermints on both sides of the chocolate. Gently set the cookies on a nonstick surface and allow them to cool.

Try not to eat them all at once. Then again, it's the holidays.

Go ahead and do it.

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