Photo taken by Maggy Keet from ThreeManyCooks.comI’m sorry, but are Candy Cane Kisses pretty much the bomb diggity of Christmas candy, or what? Look at the center of that cookie bite. Just look at it! An entire kiss, wrapped in dark chocolatey cookie goodness, people.
I pretty much buy Candy Cane Kisses in bulk when they show up at Target. White chocolate and peppermint? I’m so there. Luckily, so is my bestie, Maggy.
She came over last week for a bit of baking and a girls’ night in finished with gin and tonics in the hot tub. (Be very jealous.) We had the best time baking up a storm. Nearly a metric ton of shortbread in different flavors, we made.
I had the economy size of the kisses bag sitting in my freezer. I knew I wanted to do something similar to these Rolo cookies with them, but couldn’t decide what.
This is where good friends who are also good bakers come in *very* handy. Maggy helped me figure out the method, and the dark chocolate cookie dough came from my friend Annie’s blog, With Sprinkles On Top. I used that same dough last year to make cookies with Andes peppermint baking chips, so I knew it lent itself very well to the peppermint application.
These may take a little extra planning, because they require you to freeze the Kisses and freeze the dough for a while, but they are OH so worth the extra effort.
Maggy and I spending a day baking together is something we both dreamed about when she lived in England and I here. We were cooking buddies over the phone for the longest time, and we’d cook together whenever either of us was visiting the other, but just to say, a the drop of a hat, “Hey, come over here and let’s bake!” – well people, that’s a luxury we didn’t have for the first 2 years of our friendship.
When I look back on Christmas 2010, that day of baking together is going to be one of my favorite moments. Having a friend who understands your darkest moments, who bolsters you up when you’re down, and who will come stay at your house and make you drinks and dinner when your husband is out of town? It’s pretty much the best thing ever.
Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookie Bites
Makes approximately 32-36 cookies
Equipment – mixer, 2 mini-muffin pans; 24 count
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark or Scharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
32-36 Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, frozen
Freeze Candy Cane Kisses at least a few hours if not overnight.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the batter until the mixture is well-blended.
Chill dough for 30 minutes in refrigerator. When dough has about 5 minutes left, remove Kisses from freezer and unwrap 36.
Scoop chilled dough with a cookie scoop and release into your hand. Press one Hershey’s Kiss into the dough, and roll around in your hand until you have a ball, and the Kiss is completely ensconced. Continue until all Kisses are used.
Freeze the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line 32-36 mini-muffin cups with mini muffin paper liners, or spray pan with cooking spray with flour. Place one frozen cookie dough ball in each paper liner. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cookie bites have a ‘brownie’ like exterior.
When cooled, dust with powdered sugar. Pile high on a glass cake server for optimum effect.