Friday, December 21, 2007

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 10-15 minutes per batch
Yield: 52 cookies

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 pkg. (6 oz.) white baking chocolate
12 hard peppermint candies, crushed

Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Blend in semi-sweet chocolate.

Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into 52 balls. Roll each ball into 3-inch-long rope. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheet, bending top of each slightly to resemble a candy cane.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned; cool 5 min. on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Microwave white chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with crushed candies. Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Tips and Tricks
The dough is easier to shape if you refrigerate it briefly. Crush the candies in a resealable plastic bag to avoid messes. To make these cookies more chocolatey, drizzle additional melted chocolate over the top.
Make It Healthier
Use unsalted butter or trans-fat free spread. Use reduced-fat cream cheese.
To lighten it up, use reduced-fat cream cheese and trans-fat free spread in place of butter.
How Kids Can Help
Older kids can use the mixer. Younger kids can dump ingredients into a bowl, press buttons on microwave and crush candies.

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