Design to Dish: Peppermint Bark Thumbprints

christmas holiday cookie exchange swap recipe

One of my favorite things to do every holiday season is to make Christmas cookies; I can’t remember a single Christmas that didn’t involve lots and lots of flour, butter, and sugar. My family has a few all-time favorite cookie recipes that we make every year, but I’m always on the lookout for new, delicious Christmas treats to try out. A holiday cookie swap is the perfect place to discover dozens of amazing goodies in one fun-filled afternoon!

When I think of holiday flavor combinations, chocolate and peppermint jump out as a clear favorite. These Peppermint Bark Thumbprints start with sweet, buttery shortbread cookies, and are topped with two kinds of chocolate as well as a hefty sprinkle of crushed candy canes. They’re insanely delicious and pretty cute too, which makes them perfect cookie-swap material. Have you ever hosted a holiday cookie party? What show-stopping cookie would you bring this year?

1. Holiday Cookie Party Invitations from Minted
2. DIY Vintage Ornament Wreath from Martha Stewart
3. Peppermint Kiss Cookies from Lulu the Baker
4. Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies from BHG’s Delish Dish
5. Printable Gift Tags by Brightside Prints for One Charming Party, via Laura Birney
6. How To Host a Cookie Swap from Martha Stewart
7. Chewy Chocolate Chip Snickers Cookies from Bakers Royale
8. A Whimsical Wonderland Tabletop from Coco + Kelley
9. Peppermint Bark Thumbprints, recipe below

julep minted christmas cookie swap thumbprint recipe

Peppermint Bark Thumbprints
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
scant 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz dark chocolate
12 oz white chocolate
3 peppermint candy canes, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat sugar and butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add peppermint extract and mix to combine. Add flour and salt, and mix just until dough comes together. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, and place balls 2″ apart on ungreased baking sheets. Use your thumb or a small spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes. As soon as you pull the cookies out of the oven, use a small spoon to re-press the center of each cookie (they usually puff up considerably during baking and there’s not much of a well in the middle). Allow the cookies to cool completely.

Place the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Spoon a small amount of melted dark chocolate into the well in the center of each cooled cookie. Alternately, you can spoon the melted chocolate into a small ziplock bag, cut a tiny piece off of one bottom corner, and pipe the chocolate into the thumbprints (this method goes faster!). Melt the white chocolate by following the same steps, and spoon the melted white chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip a corner off of the bag, and pipe drizzles of white chocolate over the cookies. Try not to get too much white chocolate on the baking pans; just stick to the tops of the cookies! Immediately sprinkle each cookie with crushed candy canes. Allow the chocolate to set up before serving. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.

Note: Melting chocolate always stresses me out a little, especially melting finicky white chocolate! I really like the chocolate melting wafers from Ghirardelli. They taste great and melt smoothly without burning, scorching, or being weird. And they’re available on the baking aisle of lots of grocery stores, right next to the unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

Find more of Melissa on her blog.

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