When it comes to festive baking, there are two trains of thought. One is all about festive flavors: eggnog, peppermint and gingerbread. The other, is all about the colors, baking and icing in shades of green and red. If like me you can’t decide between flavors or colors, rest assured because these cookies utilize both!
Last Saturday, I attended a cookie exchange party hosted by my friend Katie. Can you believe that this was my first one? I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew enough about holiday gatherings to anticipate a lot of sugar cookies and gingerbread. Whatever I was going to make, it was going to have to stand out. I have a baking reputation to uphold so I couldn’t show up with just anything. I was definitely a little nervous showing up with my cookies (as I am anytime I bake something for an event – do other people get that too?) but these kiss cookies were a big hit so I didn’t have much to worry about
Peppermint is my go-to holiday flavor and since I had some candy cane kisses lying around I was inspired to go with the red and white theme! Side note: If you haven’t tried candy cane kisses, finish reading this post and then head straight to the nearest CVS to grab a bag of them. You’ll thank me later.
I always turn to red velvet around Valentine’s Day (because red, obviously) but they work just as well during the holidays as part of candy cane (ish) cookie! Add a little peppermint extract and voila, you’ve got a festive and delicious treat on your hands.
Some of you may be thinking at this point “Charlotte, you’ve been talking a big game about these kisses but we don’t even see them.” Fair point. Let me explain. Over the years, I’ve realized that eating cookies with kiss candies in them is an awkward experience. My solution? Adding the kisses to the cookies while the cookies are still very warm so I can melt them down and make them easier to eat! Genius right? If you want to leave the kisses intact, stick the cookies in the fridge for a few minutes after adding the candies to prevent melting.
- 1 ½ cups (187g) flour
- 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup (150g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 dozen Hershey’s candy cane Kisses
Recipe (Adapted from a recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Once lighter in color, mix in the egg, followed by the milk, the peppermint extract and the food coloring one at a time, mixing until combined. Turn mixer to low and gently mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips before covering dough and refrigerating for at least an hour.
- Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 and prepare two baking sheets with non-stick mats. Scoop balls about 1 tablespoon in size on each mat and bake one at a time for about 9 minutes. When not baking raw dough, return to the fridge.
- Once cookies come out of the oven, immediately place on kiss on each cookie, pressing down slightly to hold its place. Let cookies cool for about 15 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat until all of the dough is used up.