For the third day of 12 days of cookies, we’re embracing the flavors of the holidays with these candy cane shortbreads from Michele at luckybites. They’re basically a homemade mint Oreo and super duper easy! Michele loves to combine her passions for baking and design, so check out her website and Instagram to see more of her gorgeous creations!
Brooklyn Blackout Mint Shortbread
Makes about 60 two-inch cookies
What You’ll Need:
For the chocolate shortbread:
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1½ teaspoons peppermint extract
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon black cocoa*
½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
For the icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
A pinch of salt
5-6 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons meringue powder (optional)**
Crushed candy canes***
What To Do:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, vanilla and salt on medium speed until well-combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Blend in both cocoas until just incorporated using quick pulses (so you don’t end up in a cocoa dust cloud). Add flour and mix just until just incorporated, being careful not to over-mix. Dough should be firm and hold together well, but not sticky (you may need to adjust flour quantity).
Divide dough into thirds and place each third on a sheet of wax paper. Flatten dough slightly to create discs. Cover each disc with another sheet of wax paper to sandwich it. Roll dough out to a ¼” thickness, smoothing any creases in wax paper.
Peel away top sheets of wax paper and replace with new ones (this will prevent dough from sticking and keep the work surface clean). Flip the entire sandwich over and remove the other sheet of wax paper, leaving the sheet that’s now on the bottom in place.
Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough discs and place on a baking sheet about 1″ apart. Roll out scraps and repeat until all dough is used up (you may need to refrigerate to prevent sticking). Sprinkle cookies on sheet with coarse salt.
Bake cookies in oven 8-10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Cookies are done when they look dry and finely crackled and a slight depression remains when lightly pressed. Once done, cool for 5-7 minutes on sheets, then transfer with a spatula to wire racks to cool completely.
In a bowl, mix confectioner’s sugar, salt, meringue powder (if using), and water until smooth. Drizzle, pipe or spread icing over cooled cookies. While icing is still wet, sprinkle over crushed candy canes. Allow to dry several hours before storing in airtight container.
Cookies will keep at room temperature for 5-7 days. They’re still fine after that, but will start to dry out.
*Black cocoa is a wonderful oreo-like powder. It’s worth the effort to find it (I use King Arthur brand), but you can substitute with natural cocoa.
**Meringue powder is not necessary, but it will help the icing stay firm so it’s less likely to crumble, especially if you pack or gift these cookies. I like Wilton brand.
***I used to crush frozen candy canes in Ziploc bags. But no matter how neat i tried to be, I found little sticky shards all over my kitchen for weeks! Then I tried a food processor, which is so much more easy and neat, plus you don’t need to freeze the candy canes. Simply pulse until you get the size of pieces you’d like.
P.S. Show us what you’re baking this holiday season! Use the hashtag #FD12DaysOfCookies on Instagram.