Chocolate and peppermint are among my favorite flavors, so I was pleased by Day Three of my Advent Cookie Challenge. These cookies are quite minty and chocolatey. Sprinkle them with crushed peppermint sticks for extra peppermint crunch and flavor.
The original recipe by Vaughn Vreeland calls for making enormous cookies, but I nixed that idea. I scooped rounded tablespoons of the cookie dough onto parchment-covered baking sheets, and they came out just fine. The teenager in my house mows down cookies, so I wanted to have enough cookies for the rest of us.
Beat the eggs and sweeteners together for much longer than you’d expect. The eggs will melt the coconut sugar, but the xylitol or erythritol will remain grainy. Not a problem for me, but if you want a smoother texture, substitute coconut sugar for the non-nutritive sweetener. If you must use refined sugar, please make it organic which is grown without pesticides. I added some date paste, vegetable glycerin and stevia for added texture and sweetness, but you can substitute other sweeteners as you wish. The date paste makes the cookies a bit fudgy, so use more coconut sugar if you prefer a lighter texture.
Day Three has convinced me that baking without diary and gluten is not a problem when it comes to making great cookies. Sugar is the villain of the piece, i.e.. how to make cookies that have the right texture — crisp, chewy, moist – and taste great but contain little or no refined sugar? Tomorrow’s a new day, with a new cookie to bake, so I’ll keep trying.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Mint and chocolate are best friends, and these cookies are no exception. The fudgy, minty cookies are topped with crushed candy canes for an extra holiday dash of color and sweet peppermint flavor.
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup non-dairy butter
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup xylitol or erythritol
- 1/4 cup date paste
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour mix
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 tablespoons crushed peppermint sticks for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place semi-sweet chocolate and 1/4 cup cocoa powder into a heatproof bowl.
In a small saucepan, melt the non-diary butter over medium-low heat.
Pour the butter over the chocolate, and set aside while the chocolate melts.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sweeteners and salt for 5-7 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Stir the chocolate mixture, then stir it into the egg mixture.
Mix in the peppermint extract.
Gently stir in the flour, xanthan gum and the remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder.
Drop rounded tablespoons on cookie sheets at least 2" apart.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and bang the sheets on a heatproof counter to flatten the cookies.
Sprinkle cookies with crushed peppermint sticks, and return to oven for 2 more minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets.