These Dark Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs are Decorated with Pink and Red Candy Cane Stripes of Royal Icing! Follow my Video Tutorial and enjoy this Fun and Festive Holiday Recipe.
Today’s post is coming to you a little later than I would have liked, for a couple of different reasons. One, I really wanted to make it extra, extra good. I don’t want you to be intimidated by how pretty these cookies look. So, at the bottom of the post you will find my very first ever video tutorial. It ended up being a little bit harder to learn how to do video in the amount of time I allowed myself. I hope to get better at this with practice, but for now, I think it’s decent enough to get the point across. Hopefully it illustrates just how “do-able” decorating cookies can be. And fun!
Also, I’m including a list of the products I used to make and decorate these cookies! I always get asked, inevitably, so I just decided to include a little shopping list for you here, right from the get-go. Please be advised that some of these are affiliate links, so I do earn a small commission from any purchases you might make. As always, they are products that I myself have purchased, use, and recommend.
And finally, I would like to share: the last couple of days have been really difficult, and I was completely derailed from my normal routine. Even today, I’m having trouble staying focused, after the tragedy that has ripped through my community. Things like this happen every day, around the world, and it’s always terribly upsetting, but especially when it hits so close to home. My loved ones are safe, but my childrens’ school was under lockdown for two days and our town was advised to “Shelter In Place,” until local law enforcement could guarantee our safety from this sick and extremely dangerous person.
I never wanted this space to be political, or controversial in any way. I just want it to be a happy place. There’s a lot of different opinions about why tragedies like this happen, and what should be done. But I only want to say that not a single day goes by that I don’t remember what happened right around this time 2 years ago in Newtown, Connecticut. The terrifying events of this past Monday morning, in my small farm town, brought that sad day even more to the forefront of my mind. Let’s all pause for a moment, send prayers to those who have lost, and count our many blessings.
And now on to happier subjects:
Christmas Cookies! Of the iced chocolate peppermint variety. I made these for the Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which is a really fun event that benefits a great cause. So three other food bloggers were the recipients of this yummy recipe. I hope they enjoyed them half as much as I loved making and decorating them.
I can’t decide what I like better, the pretty royal icing design or the chocolate-y cookie base. I love to play with my food, so I always enjoy the decorating part, but the cookie itself is so darn good. Which I think is no small feat. A lot of times, the prettier the cookie, the worse it tastes. But my Simply Perfect Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe did not disappoint here. I used half regular cocoa powder, half black (dutched) cocoa, and the result was very much like a soft-in-the-center Oreo cookie, with a hint of cool, Christmas-y peppermint. I added 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract to this recipe.
As you can see, this kind of cookie is great for shipping to loved ones, because not only are they sturdy, but they stack up so neatly with very little airspace in between. This is so key to having the contents arrive intact. I lined a treat box with wax paper so that the cookies wouldn’t make oil stains all over the paper box. I saw one of the recipients Instagrammed me their package when it arrived, and it looked pretty good, so I guess it worked!
Iced Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- 1 batch Simply Perfect Chocolate Sugar Cookies (1 teaspoon peppermint extract added to the dough), baked and cooled completely
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 5 tablespoons water
- 2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- Additionally- gel paste food coloring and a few teaspoons more water to thin the icing to the proper consistency.
- Place the meringue powder and water in a large bowl and whisk until all the powder has dissolved and the mixture is frothy.
- Add the powdered sugar and stir until combined.
- Whip on high speed until the icing is very fluffy and stiff, about 5-7 minutes. It should hold stiff peaks.
- Transfer to an air-tight container until ready to tint and pipe.
To tint and thin to proper consistency:
- Spoon about 1/2 cup of royal icing into a small bowl and add a few drops of gel-paste color. Stir in until desired color is reached. (Some colors, such as red and black, will deepen over time.)
- Add water, about an eighth of a teaspoon at a time, until the icing is the consistency of Elmer's glue. It should smooth over on its own after a few seconds.
- Place in piping bags fitted with decorating tips, and turn them tip side down into a drinking glass lined with wet paper towels.
- Use immediately. (Royal Icing will become thin and runny, and may separate, over the course of about 24 hours.)
Thinning to the proper consistency is key. Too thick, and the icing won't smooth over and may have a bumpy appearance. Too thin, and it may run right off the side of the cookie. Be sure to add water just a few drops at a time until the icing is just thin enough to smooth over after a few seconds.
Allow the iced cookies to dry/cure overnight, uncovered. The hardened icing forms a protective barrier that prevents the cookies from becoming stale.
Decorated cookies will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container, at room temperature.
And now for the video! The decorating technique is really not that hard, as long as your royal icing is the proper consistency (think Elmer’s glue for this technique) and you work relatively quickly, before the icing has a chance to crust over. Do take notice that the tip of my pastry bag is hovering slightly above the surface I’m decorating. Pulling up and away is what really helps the lines to be straight and not squiggly! You’re letting gravity do the work for you here.
Here is that list of products I promised you:
- King Arthur Flour Black Cocoa
- Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Peppermint Extract
- Parchment Paper Sheets
- Rolling Pin Rings
- Square Cookie Cutter Set (I used the smallest one in the set)
- Meringue Powder
- Red Gel-Paste Food Coloring
- Pink Gel Paste Food Coloring
- Disposable Piping Bags
- Piping Couplers
- Small Round Piping Tip
- Treat Boxes
I hope you enjoy!