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Clare’s Chocolate Candy Cane Cookie

December 11, 2009

Now that’s what I call alliteration! 5 “C”s =D

I decided yesterday that I should start baking since I hadn’t done in a few weeks, and it would be too nerve-wrecking going into a week of non-stop Christmas goodie-making without getting warmed up first.

So I made this first batch of cookies for my lovely department at work, and for a couple of other friends in the office. The recipe was inspired by something I read in a Donna Hay Christmas mag, and is something of a modified version of the Pierre Hermé World Peace Cookie recipe. Easy to do, and delicious and fun to eat thanks to the crunch you get from the candy canes.

Clare’s Chocolate Candy Cane Cookie

Ingredients (yield about 20 large cookies):
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1/3 cup high quality cocoa powder (can’t go wrong with Valrhona)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp sea salt
150g butter (Take the butter out of the refrigerator only right before direction #2 – you don’t want it all melted, just slightly softened.)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
120g chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
3-4 regular-sized candy canes (not the mini ones)

Preparation:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degC.
2. Line baking trays with parchment paper.
3. Chop candy canes into <1cm lengths (This is a bit of work so you might want to do it ahead of time. Hold the knife close to the canes when you’re chopping so they don’t fly all over the place.)

Directions:
1. Sift flour and cocoa powder into mixing bowl.

2. Add baking soda, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat on high speed till ingredients are blended. (Expect a thick lumpy mixture. Don’t over-mix.)

3. Fold in chocolate chips.

4. Drop in hefty tablespoons onto baking trays, at least 1.5 inches apart. Gently press down on each mound to flatten slightly, then place 4-5 candy cane pieces on top.

5. Bake for about 12 minutes.

6. Leave to cool on tray for about 10 minutes, then gently lift parchment (with cookies on top) away from tray and cool for another 10-15 minutes.

7. Finally, wrap each cookie separately in pretty packaging, and voilà!

I had a lot of fun doing the packaging =)

Key differences between this recipe and the original Pierre Hermé recipe are that this one (a) uses an egg, and (b) involves less chocolate & salt. The egg helps the cookie hold together though it’s big and has the candy cane bits, and using less chocolate chips and salt ensures that the candy cane taste isn’t overwhelmed.

If you need to store the cookies, good idea to keep them in an airtight container, separated by sheets of parchment.

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