Today we’re kicking off “12 Days of Cookies.”
Each day, we are featuring one Very Merry Cookie Challenge finalist recipe in Life & Arts until the final, public tasting event at Central Market Fort Worth on Dec. 4.
The event has sold out, but try making the cookies at home and see how your favorites stack up against the judges’ picks.
Today’s cookie recipe for peppermint sand tarts comes from reader Tamara Reese of Fort Worth.
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Winners will be revealed in Life & Arts on Dec. 11.
Peppermint sand tarts
Makes 5 dozen
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
- 1/3 cup crushed red-striped peppermints, about 15 candies
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and blend well. (I use clear vanilla extract.)
2. Whisk together the cake flour and the all-purpose flour in a separate bowl. Slowly add this to the butter mixture and blend on low speed. Continue to mix until all of the flour is incorporated, but do not over-mix.
3. Stir in peppermint baking chips.
4. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour until it is chilled and easy to handle.
5. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and, using a 1-inch cookie scoop, form small balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 16-18 minutes until slightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven.
6. While cookies are baking, crush peppermints in a plastic bag using a hammer until they are in small pieces. Transfer the pieces to a food processor and process until they are almost a “powder” consistency. You should have around 1/3 cup of “peppermint powder.” Combine this with 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a small pie plate.
8. Roll the warm cookies in the peppermint powdered sugar mixture. Cool completely. They will melt in your mouth with a slight crunch at the end.
Note: A variation is to omit Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips; substitute 2/3 cup Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips and roll in plain powdered sugar after baking. Doing this gives you a chocolate mint variation.
Nutritional analysis per cookie: 68 calories, 4 grams fat, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 5 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 52 percent of calories from fat.
Tamara Reese, Fort Worth