Holiday Cookie of the Week: Winter in the Berkshires

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Our second cookie of the week is from Jennifer Huberdeau, editor of Upcountry magazine. These easy-to-make cookies are soft, rich and decadent.

"It's like an adult version of the Girl Scout's 'Thin mint' cookie,' is how Pittsfield cookbook author Brandi Scalise described her 'Winter in the Berkshires' cookie to me when we chatted about it during an interview in October," Huberdeau said. "I'm a fan of mint cookies, but not a fan cookies with too much peppermint in them. I was hesitant to make these, seeing both peppermint stick candy and peppermint extract on the recipe list. I opted to use Andes peppermint crunch baking chips, found at Target, and crossed my fingers. The outcome was more than I could hope for: just the perfect amount of peppermint for me — not overwhelming, but not too subtle either. But the thing I love the most about this one-bowl recipe is that you just go down the list and throw everything in the bowl at once. It's quite simple and hassle-free."

WINTER IN THE BERKSHIRES

(From "Cookie Classics Made Easy" by Brandi Scalise)

Yield: 3 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

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4 candy canes, broken into bits, or 1/4 cup peppermint stick bits

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar2 eggs2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

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1 tablespoon peppermint extract

2 tablespoons of milk

2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

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1/2 cup white chocolate chips

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line one cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine the butter and peppermint candy in a large mixing bowl and beat, preferably with an electric mixer. Add the brown sugar, eggs, baking powder, salt and peppermint extract.

Mix well, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the milk, cocoa powder, flour, white chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips and mix until well combined.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or a rounded teaspoon, scoop out the dough and drop 1 inch apart on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until you can smell a wonderful chocolate aroma. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool fully.


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