SERVINGS: 40 1.5-INCH COOKIES AUTHOR: MAUREEN ABOOD
Chocolate and peppermint are a match made in shortbread heaven! My riff on the classic Lebanese butter cookie, graybeh, is easily changed up to your taste–no mint lovers there? Replace the peppermint extract with vanilla or orange blossom water, and decorate with sprinkles instead of crushed candy cane.
FOR THE COOKIES:
3/4 cup clarified unsalted butter, at cool room temperature (soft but solid)
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (either standard or Dutch process)
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus additional tablespoons as needed
FOR THE GLAZE AND DECORATION:
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 candy canes, crushed
2 tablespoons green sprinkles
Heat the oven to 325° F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line two sheet pans with parchment or a silpat.
Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on high speed until fluffy, creamy and pale, about six minutes. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula for even whipping. Add the confectioners’ sugar, peppermint extract, and vanilla and whip until well combined and fluffy, another 5 minutes.
On low speed, slowly blend in the flour, ½ cup at a time until incorporated.
Knead the dough by hand just enough to form a cohesive dough. If the dough is very sticky (leaving dough on your fingers), work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky.
Take a large handful of the dough and shape it into a log about 1-inch tall and wide (this is pretty narrow!) on a lightly floured surface. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to square off the sides of the log, and to cut ½-inch pieces diagonally (these are quite small; they expand when baked).
Place the diamonds on a parchment-lined heavy sheet pan and bake until the cookies are baked through, about 18-20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Cool the baked cookies completely on the pan.
To make the glaze, in a small saucepan on low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil.
Spoon the glaze over half of each cookie and place them back on the lined sheet pan or a cookie rack to cool. Decorate the glazed half of the cookie with crushed candy cane and sprinkles.
Allow the glaze to set for several hours or better, overnight. After an hour or so, if setting on the sheet pan, nudge each cookie a quarter inch or so in the direction of the glazed side, to reduce the chocolate “foot” or puddling under that end of the cookie. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.