Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cookies

Towards the beginning of December our celiac support group had a gluten free Christmas cookie exchange. I always think this is a great way to learn about recipes as well as have an assortment of cookies for upcoming holidays without having to make them all yourself!

After sampling some chocolate mint chip cookies made by my friend Mary from Viola Fe, I wanted to try to make some chocolate peppermint cookies. My husband did some searching on the internet and discovered Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips.

The best part about this product (as well as all Andes products) is that they are "produced in a facility that does not use peanut, tree nuts, eggs or gluten." That is music to my ears, and a definite reason to support this company. 

Originally I was going to use my King Arthur Gluten Free Cookie mix for these cookies, but was a bit concerned that it might not make enough cookies for what I needed. (And I only had one box.) I will say though that King Arthur was great in answering my questions and concerns about what alterations I might need to make if I were to add cocoa powder to the mix. (The answer: more butter) 

Lucky for me, directly on the back of the package of baking chips was Andes' recipe for "Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies." I just substituted my tried and true Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour, added a teaspoon of Xanthum Gum, and I was good to go.

The recipe did call for 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules, so I did have to do some looking around at the store. Although I don't drink coffee, my husband does, and I wanted to find a brand that was dark enough that he might actually use it in a pinch. 

I was so happy to see that the Taster's Choice single serve carton box actually had a gluten free label directly on the package. 

They turned out pretty well, although they seemed to be a bit strong in the coffee taste when they were fresh. I had one recently that was left over and had been in a bag for a few weeks, and it was actually more moist and flavorful. So don't be worried if these sit around for a bit, as long as they are in a tightly sealed bag.

This recipe made approximately 4 dozen cookies, as the bag stated. I measured the cookies using my Pampered Chef 1 oz. scoop. 

1 c. unsalted butter 
2 tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 c. plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose GF flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 pkg. (10 oz.) Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan melt butter with coffee granules over low heat until completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat and let cool to about room temperature. 

While that is cooling, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter mixture, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs. Gradually beat in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in the Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. 

Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet. (I prefer to use a silpat- a permanent silicone mat. If you don't have one, I HIGHLY suggest getting one.) 

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let rest on baking sheet for 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.