There really is no reason to improve sugar cookies, because they're already perfect.
But...sometimes even a perfect food likes to get festive for the holidays.
So recently, when I was baking some sugar cookies (because, you know, I was hungry), I thought: why not add a heaping handful of this peppermint bark that Willamette Valley Confectionery sent me?
While of course the bark and the cookies were both good on their own, I figured it might taste good to try them together.
And so, I did.
And when the cookies baked up, they were a wonderful thing to behold. They were awfully pretty, with chocolatey peppermint hued thingies poking through the creamy coloring of the cookies.
But they were even better to put in your mouth.
You know how sugar cookies are awesomely buttery all over, soft on the inside, and lightly crunchy on the outside? Well, add an essence of peppermint to the whole thing, but a nice one, not a toothpasty one. A refreshing minty hint paired with all that buttery flavor? Oh my, were they ever a joy to munch and crunch upon.
So really, this is a long and poetic way of giving you a good cookie tip. Coarsely chop about 2 cups' worth of peppermint bark and fold it into your favorite sugar cookie batter before baking. I'm pretty sure you'll thank me.
Here's the recipe I used.
Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Bark
Adapted from Pop Rocks Cookies
- 1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) butter
- 2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, again beating till well-combined. The mixture may look a bit curdled; that's OK.
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the wet ingredients, and beat until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. Fold in the pieces of peppermint bark. Reserve some pieces to press on top of the cookies (they look cuter that way).
- Drop the dough in round blobs onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. They should be a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball, a bit smaller than a golf ball. Using a cookie scoop (or, if you have one, a small ice cream scoop, one that will hold about 2 level tablespoons of liquid) makes this task extremely simple. Leave about 2 inches between the dough balls, as they'll spread as they bake. Let the cookies chill (on the sheet) in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking. They'll be nicer looking than mine, which I didn't let chill and they spread quite a bit.
- Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 12-14 minutes, or when they are just starting to brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.