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Peppermint Crunch Balls

There’s nothing that says Christmas quite like candy canes. Although the legend is a bit on the apocryphal side, story goes that these treats originated in Germany to keep children quiet during Christmas mass, with the white stripe used to represent forgiveness of sins. Whether true or not, these curved treats are a favorite with children and also serve as a colorful ornament for Christmas trees in many households. The red stripes of the candy complement the green of the tree to make the classic color combination associated with the holiday. Still, in all the hustle and bustle of the season, candy canes might not be the star treat, especially for adults. This easy Christmas cookie recipe can help to bring red and white peppermints back into the limelight.
This recipe produces cookies that really show off the colors of candy canes or starlight mints. The chief flavor is peppermint, complemented lightly by the chocolate provided by the Andes mints in the dough. The cookies produced are a nice, crisp cookie with a bright, minty taste. Since the cookies are on the smaller side, they work well as a cookie to be given in collections as gifts. They also work well as a small treat for during the day or can be a wonderful dessert when combined with some hot chocolate, as suggested in the recipe.
What really makes these cookies great is that the mint flavor can be a great follow-up to any other flavor, whether these are eaten with other cookies or as a dessert. Mint is a good palate cleanser and these cookies would be a great way to freshen up after a heavy meal or a garlicky one. The cookies are elegant enough for adults and yet would still be appealing to children, so the treat is wonderful for gifts and parties, as well as for individual use.

Yield: 36 cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

6 Andes mints, chopped

1 cup finely crushed round peppermint candies (or candy canes)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar using a hand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg, peppermint extract, and vanilla and mix until blended.

3. Slowly add the flour and salt and mix until well combined. Fold in the Andes mints.

4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Combine the crushed candy canes with the sugar in a small bowl. Using a cookie scoop, shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each cookie ball in the candy cane mixture and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.

8. Cool on wire racks. Serve.

Peppermint Crunch Balls


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