A quick pass though the baking aisle at Target was all I needed for inspiration. I saw something I'd never encountered before...Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. I was already proclaiming the Browned Butter & Toffee Sugar Cookie as the best cookie in the history of cookies, so the chance to build upon that same recipe with holiday flavors my husband loves was a no-brainer.
I stuck to the same butter melting method, stopping just before the browning began. Instead of using brown sugar, I substituted 2/3 of the original amount for white granulated sugar and swapped the toffee bits for the peppermint candies. The result was just what I was hoping for...sweet vanilla with the refreshing surprise of mint. Not the overpowering "I forgot to brush so please pass the cookies" mint flavor. Exactly fourteen minutes later, they were perfectly puffed and slightly underdone. Letting them sit on the baking sheet another five minutes is where the magic begins...the cookie bakes just enough to become firm and crispy on the exterior but maintain chewiness on the inside! They stay this way for a few days, at least, making these Vanilla Peppermint Sugar Cookies THE homemade gift for your friends to receive this holiday!
- 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 Tablespoons
- 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 bag Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips (about 5 ounces)
Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is just melted and beginning to darken slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, place the 3T granulated sugar and set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside. Add remaining 1 cup sugar to the 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt in a bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in the peppermint pieces. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed. Using an ice cream scoop (measuring about 2 tablespoons) to measure out the dough, roll each scoop between hands, forming into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, roll the tops of the cookie balls in reserved sugar and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.
makes about 2 dozen cookies