I always make a few batches of cookies for the holidays, but it's been several years since I did a lot of holiday baking. You know, the three-day baking marathons that leave you with flour in your hair and flecks of buttery sugar stuck to your face--that kind of holiday baking. But I am doing it this year!
The last time I did this kind of holiday baking, I decided to make healthy cookies. Shockingly, healthy cookies do not go over very well with a crowd. So I am going all out this time. I left the grocery store last weekend with bags full of butter and chocolate chips of every variety. No whole wheat flour, no applesauce instead of butter. Not this year! And the first recipe I tackled is one I came up with myself: Grasshopper Brownie Cookies.
I guess candy cane would be a wee bit more traditional for this time of year, but grasshopper brownies are one of my favorite desserts and I had the idea to make a sandwich cookie out of them. Chocolate ganache and minty cream are sandwiched between two chewy brownie cookies. I made them small because these little guys are rich.
When you're baking a crazy amount of cookies, having the right equipment is a must. I received a bunch of baking tools from Pampered Chef to help me out with my holiday baking this year and let me tell you, I am totally done making wonky-looking cookies that stick to my baking sheets. My favorite tool by far is the cookie scoop. Up to this point, I had used a regular tablespoon to put batter onto baking sheets. This fun little scoop makes things so much easier--just squeeze the handle and the batter is released onto the baking sheet, all perfectly shaped and beautiful.
- 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chopped
- ½ c. all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter softened
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- ½ c. packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ tsp. Pampered Chef Double-Strength Madagascar Vanilla or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ⅓ c. unsalted butter softened
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- ¾ tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler; set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, alternately beat in chocolate and flour mixture. Mix until just combined (don't overmix!).
- Use small cookie scoop to drop heaping teaspoons of batter onto baking sheets, about two-inches apart. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cookies comes out clean, about 8-12 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.
- Place butter in a small mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and extract; continue to beat until smooth.
- Place chocolate and butter in double boiler; heat until smooth, stirring often.
- Use Decorator Bottle to pipe mint filling onto half of the brownie cookies. (If you don't want to pipe the filling onto the cookies, you can spread it on with a butterknife or spatula instead.) Spread chocolate filling onto remaining cookies. Once chocolate has cooled to room temperature, carefully press together mint and chocolate cookies. (Don't put too much pressure on the tops of the cookies--they are delicate! Instead, wiggle them back and forth, kind of like how you take apart an Oreo, but in reverse.)
Disclosure: I received products from Pampered Chef to help me out with my holiday baking this year. Pampered Chef also compensated me for the time I spent on this post.