White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt

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If you’re looking for a Christmas cookie, this one is it.  Seriously.  Once I discovered this recipe, there was no going back.  Everyone was going to receive this cookie as a gift and they were going to like it.  Which is why I’ve made it my staple cookie once December rolls around.  Just within the past few days, I have made two batches and still have one more to go.  No joke.  Reason being was that we ended up slowly snacking on the first batch, sneaking a cookie (or two) for breakfast until I realized there weren’t enough left to actually give out as gifts. Oops!

So, the cookie itself includes both peppermint and white chocolate (if you couldn’t tell from the title) and are perfect complements to the intense caramel notes the dough develops while resting in your refrigerator overnight.  Just prior to baking, the unbaked cookies are then garnished with vanilla salt which just takes their deliciousness to the next level.  It’s a killer secret ingredient and not one to leave out–I’ve included the how-to at the end of the page.

Pepp White Choc Cookies 4

P.S. If you haven’t jumped on the cookie-salting bandwagon, I suggest doing so immediately.  Salt enhances the sweetness of the cookie, especially chocolate, and the contrasting tastes are like a flavor bomb in your mouth.
Note:  The dough develops deep caramel notes if it is refrigerated 24 hours prior to baking, so I absolutely recommend not skipping that step. Keep that in mind if you’re baking for holiday parties!


 

white chocolate peppermint cookies with vanilla salt

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup organic unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbs natural cane sugar
  • 2 tbs turbinado sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbs dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3 tbs crushed mini candy canes
  • vanilla salt, for topping
  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light in color and texture, 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well to combine. Again, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt to combine.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until streaks of flour still run throughout. Add the chocolate and peppermint candies then mix until everything just comes together. Finish the dough by hand, taking care to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  4. At this point, it is best to refrigerate the dough for 24 hours. Resting the dough intensifies the deep toffee flavors, and the texture of the baked cookie improves.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 360° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the baking sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup.  Top the cookies with a pinch of vanilla salt just before baking.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate the sheets halfway through if the cookies appear to be baking unevenly. The cookies should be lightly golden on the outside but still look quite gooey on the inside. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  8. These are best eaten the day of baking but will keep, if well sealed, for up to 2 days.

{recipe very slightly adapted from Ashley Rodriguez on Food52 )

Pepp White Choc Cookies 3

Vanilla Salt

  • 3/4 cup grey Celtic sea salt (approximately)
  • 1 Madagascar vanilla bean

Place the salt into a small bowl.  Split the vanilla bean vertically down the center and scrape out the moist seeds.  Really rub the seeds into the salt.  Make sure they’re dispersed. Store in a sealed, small jar and it will last forever!

Vanilla Salt

 

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White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt

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