Peppermint Mocha Cookies

Happy Monday! Hope you had a good weekend.

I actually started my Christmas shopping the other day, which is almost unheard of for me. I’m usually that person running around to the stores on December 23 – well, for everything I couldn’t get from Amazon or other online sources anyway. I am not a fan of braving the mall around the holidays so if I could get away with it, I’d do all of my shopping from the comfort of my couch in my pjs :)

While I was out, I had to stop into Trader Joe’s too. I seriously cannot drive past that store and not go in, and it’s especially hard this time of year when they have so many fun seasonal goodies available. What are your favorites? I have to get at least one box of Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s and the Peppermint Pretzel Slims are pretty addictive too. Shane loves their chocolate – seasonal or not, candy bars are always his #1 request when I stop in.

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

I also bought a bottle of their peppermint extract while I was there because here we are, barely a week into December, and I’ve already decimated mine. So much peppermint baking happening in my kitchen! A few years ago I made a peppermint mocha cupcake, and ever since I’ve been in love with the flavor combination. This year I decided I needed to create a peppermint mocha cookie too. Mondays are always better with cookies :)

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

This recipe is based on my double chocolate M&M cookies. To give the cookies the mocha flavor I wanted, I added instant coffee granules. I keep small packets of instant coffee on hand for baking all the time since we don’t drink coffee. The combination of the instant coffee with the cocoa powder in the recipe plus the addition of chocolate chunks lends a subtle, but definitely present mocha element to recipe. As for the peppermint, I used peppermint extract and lots of peppermint baking chips (a recent Target impulse buy I didn’t regret – ha!). These cookies are perfectly chewy, and stay that way for at least 3 or 4 days after baking so they’d be a great make-ahead option for your holiday trays!

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

PS – Don’t miss the first day of holiday giveaways! Head on over and enter here.

Peppermint Mocha Cookies
from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups peppermint baking chips
1/2 cup chocolate chunks

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

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee granules, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together (you could just whisk, but I like to sift cocoa powder to make sure I get all the lumps out). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and egg yolk, and then the vanilla and peppermint extracts. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Mix in the peppermint baking chips and chocolate chunks.

Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons), portion the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-11 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through if you’re doing both at once) or until the edges of the cookies are set (the centers may look underdone – don’t overbake!). Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for a few minutes then remove the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. These cookies will stay chewy for at least 3 days after baking.

Makes about 25 cookies