Today we are being visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past who is taking us back a couple years to the first Christmas that I was blogging – back to the days of bad writing, dimly lit photography, and a lack of discretion on the recipes I shared. To the days that my twitter handle changed every couple weeks because anything was better than @thesweetlife5 and I was still trying to figure out what was up with Instagram.
It’s all flashing before my eyes. Ghost of the Christmas Past, why must we go there?
You might remember last spring when I lost most of my photographs in a hosting migration nightmare. At some point I became so frustrated and, well, sad with the whole situation that I abandoned the re-uploading project altogether and turned my attentions to rebranding, something else that’s problems had become abundantly clear, leaving a few of my recipes completely without pictures.
Among them: these Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies.
So when my mom, Eden, and I began our Christmas baking last weekend, I figured this was a good chance to snap some new pictures of probably the best cookie ever and give this old post a much-needed makeover.
This Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies recipe is inspired by a recipe I used at my last baking job – just veganized and with a seasonal twist. Using both peppermint extract and crushed candies, these cookies have an amazing peppermint-y flavor with a nice little crunch in between fudgy chocolate-y bites. Ever since creating this recipe a couple years ago, it’s become a Christmas cookie staple and one more reason that Christmas is quickly becoming my favorite time of year.
I also learned a great little trick, thanks to my mom and Cook’s Illustrated. By coating the cookie first in granulated sugar you allow the cookie surface to dry out quickly before the interior sets, creating more of those beautiful crinkly cracks. The extra layer of sugar also prevents the powdered sugar from melting into the cookie for that stark white on black visual. You can read about the science behind all that here. It’s pretty cool stuff and I was thrilled to see the difference when testing it out.
Welcome in the season with a couple of these cookies, cup of cocoa, and a warm fire. You’ll be glad you did.
- Crinkle Cookies
- 1 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon peppermint candies crushed
- Sugar Coating
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
In a small bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a medium bowl or stand up mixer stir together cocoa powder, sugar, applesauce, oil, and extracts until well blended. Fold in crushed peppermints. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the granulated and powdered sugars in two separate bowls.
Remove chilled dough and roll into balls about one tablespoon each. Toss first in the granulated and then second in the powdered sugar, coating fully.
Bake for 12-13 minutes (cookies should be slightly underbaked). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.