Well the 4th of July is right around the corner. If you haven’t had your picnics yet, I’m sure they are soon. In order to please Zach (I feel like I’m always pleasing Zach in the form of sweet treats (=), I decided to make him a peppermint cookie. Now I normally would not go the peppermint route unless it was Christmas time, but Zach loves peppermint, and I thought it would be a fun way to incorporate a red, white and blue theme. Besides, tomorrow is July 1st. Maybe this is my attempt at “Christmas in July?” No, I am not ready for Christmas talk quite yet. But really, who cares. I apologize for the relentless tangent =). Let’s talk food. These cookies are superbly scrumptious. They are super easy and with a tweak here and a tweak there, you can customize them anyway you choose. I seriously suggest making sure you incorporate a red, white and blue theme somewhere though! This is the whole point right? We also paired these cookies with a super fun brown ale. These cookies can only be described in one word: yum. I don’t think there’s need for anymore explanation than that. Peppermint & White Chocolate Sugar Cookies are the way to go.
Although, you may find these cookies just a tad Christmasy, they are actually extremely cool and refreshing. That’s why I love them for summertime. It’s not like they are going to physically cool you down, but at least it will feel like they are! I may have mentioned that a couple of tweaks can be made to satisfy your cravings. You can skip the peppermint all together if you wish (although you would loose the “red”). If you are not a huge fan of peppermint, all you need to do is eliminate the peppermint extract ingredient from both the cookies and frosting. If you want just a little less peppermint flavor, you can always just subtract the extract from one of the recipes. There is white chocolate in the frosting, so there is already a ton of flavor going on. Oh and food coloring can be a magical thing. Use it wisely though =).
Cigar City is one of the greatest breweries in the South (in my opinion). We don’t get a TON of great beer from the great state of Florida, but Cigar City is pretty special. The reason I decided to go with Maduro, Cigar City’s brown ale, is because it is so pumped up with flavor; ESPECIALLY for a brown ale. They have also made a mint version over Christmas time, which is what had me thinking of Maduro in the first place. It’s toasty, caramel-ly and chocolatey. In my book (if I had a book), this is the definition a perfect dessert beer. The only thing that drives me crazy about Cigar City is that we can’t get it here in Colorado. =( It’s always a sad day when we can’t get a beer. If you CAN get your hands on this beer, try it, please.
I hope everyone had a great weekend! The next one is just 5 days away =).
Perfect for the 4th of July, these patriotic sugar cookies combine white chocolate and peppermint!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup peppermints, crushed
- 10 ounces white chocolate
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 2 cups confectioner''s sugar
- blue food coloring (optional)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (with paddle attachment fixed), cream together the butter, shortening and sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and heavy cream until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In 1/4 cup increments, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, making sure it is completely incorporated after each installment. Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, beat on high for 30 seconds. Now add the vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Beat to incorporate. Form the dough into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
- Once your dough has refrigerated, remove from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Roll your dough out on a generously floured surface with a flour-dusted rolling pin. Roll out to 1/8 of an inch thick and cut out your desired shapes with a cookie cutter (we used a 2 inch star). Lay out your shapes on your prepared baking sheets (leaving about an inch of space between each cookie). Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to golden slightly. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To prepare the frosting, place the white chocolate in a glass bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water to create a double boiler. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the white chocolate, stirring occasionally and transfer to a small bowl to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add the melted white chocolate and peppermint extract and mix to combine. In 1/4 cup increments, add the confectioner''s sugar into the creamed mixture on low speed. Once all of the confectioner''s sugar has been added, beat on high for about 30 seconds. Drop a couple of drops of blue food coloring (if using) and mix with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Now start assembling your cookies. Spread a dollop of frosting on each cookie and spread to a thin layer. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candy on top. Store at room temperature (in an airtight container) or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Hardware: * Stand Mixer (with paddle attachment) * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Rubber Spatulas * Wooden Spoons * Plastic Wrap * Rolling Pin * Parchment Paper * Baking Sheets * Small Saucepan * Small Glass Bowl *