Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Peppermint Chunkies

Hello and welcome back!  I'm stopping in today to share the second episode of Adventures in Baking.  Do these cookies look yummy or what?  When I was at the store purchasing the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips for the last cookie recipe, I noticed this bright red bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips.  I've never seen anything like them (not that I spend a lot of time in the baking isle) but the packaging was calling out to me!  And I like peppermint.  And it has recipes on the back.  One recipe is for the cookie and the other is for cupcakes.  My mind was perplexed.....what to do with them......might be a seasonal item, better get them while I can!  And so the peppermint crunch's came home with me.
The Ingredients.  I'm following the recipe right off the package, so here we have the ingredients.  Couple of questions to ponder.....what's the difference between brown sugar and dark brown sugar?  Yeah, one's darker (and has the consistency of a rock) but they're both PURE cane sugar meaning no additives, right?  So one sugar cane stalk in the Miami field has a better suntan than another stalk?  Then there's the coconut.  Reading through the recipe everything seems like a normal cookie dough recipe until you get to the coconut.  It's kinda like the game 'Which of these things doesn't go with the rest'.  I know my Aunt Shari is shaking her head right now about the addition of coconut.  She's not a fan.  I don't necessarily have anything against coconut.  I'm not sure I've ever actually tasted it.  It's appearance doesn't help its cause.  White, stringy, kinda waxy.  Sorta reminds me of little kids shoe laces chopped up and in a bag.  (I used to work in a shoe store.....I've seen lots of shoe laces in my life).  Shoe laces aren't very appetizing. 

Let's get started.  I was very careful with the flour this time.....I did not want to clean up that mess again!  First up:  Cream together the softened butter, dark brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Softened butter.  Again.  Should have known.  I have to start reading the instructions earlier or planning better......I'm gonna try the microwave this time.  I just need to soften the butter without melting it.  Two sticks on a plate for 5 seconds.  Nope, no change.  Let's try 5 more seconds.  OK, I think there's a little difference.  Let's go for broke.....8 seconds.  Ah ha! Softened, not melted, butter in 18 seconds.  I may be getting the hang of this!
Well, turned the mixer on low to cream them together and sugar went flying.  I really think it's the size of the bowl.  Maybe it's not deep enough.  Time to clean up the sugar. 

Next step.  Add the egg, vanilla, flour, baking soda and salt.  Yum, this is tasty.  I haven't made chocolate chip cookies in years, but if I'm remembering correctly the recipes are very similar up to this point. 

Here's were it gets interesting.
Oats, coconut, pecans and Andes peppermint chips.  This puts the chunk in the chunkies.  I managed to get all the measurements correct this time. 
Final step:  Let's get these babies bakin'.  I have ten times more confidence in these cookies being edible than I did at this same stage with the chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.  They already look so pretty.  The peppermint chips are more pink than red.  These would be nice for Valentine's Day if you can still find the baking chips. 
Oh My Goodness!  They smell divine!  Can't wait to see how they taste. good!  Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.  Think I need to try another one, you check for consistency! Lol!  Yep, still great. 

The Clean-Up.  The recipe says it yields 60 1.5 inch cookies.  I ended up with 6 dozen + 7, so 79.  They hold their shape really well, so the size they are when they go on the pan is about the size they come out.  I don't know if they're 1.5 inches, but they're 3 bites.  A three bite cookie is the perfect size in my estimation.  So, final long can cookies be kept in the freezer cause at this point I have more cookies in there than food. 

Hope you've enjoyed this weeks episode of Adventures in Baking.  I'm already on the hunt for the next adventure.  It's time to break away from the cookies and try something new.  I'm thinking maybe a muffin of some sort.  Till next time!

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