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Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Soft, fudgy cookies with the rich flavors of hot chocolate,  crushed peppermints and brownies! Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies are so perfect for the holidays and are especially perfect for cookie swaps!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies

So this is it. These cookies— such a labor of holiday love.

I don’t mean for them to sound complicated — they’re not! Which was actually the reason I chose this recipe to share because the assignment here was to bake and mail 3 batches of cookies.

AND THEN I got overzealous. In addition to mailing 3 batches of surprise cookies to other food bloggers (I’ll explain that in a second), I decided to do two reader giveaways and mail even more cookies.

It was like… the biggest cookie bonanza ever over here. It was so happy and fun. But also exhausting. I am currently on cookie vacation before Christmas Eve and my ugly cookie decorating party with my family.

My kids were thrilled to death with all the cookie excess hanging around. You know how it goes — pretty cookies get gifted. Ugly cookies stay at home. Ugly cookies go in lunch boxes. Ugly cookies feed a gaggle of high school boys.

I boxed up three boxes of 18 Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies — only the pretty ones — and mailed them to three totally separate corners of the United States. New York, Texas, and Utah! And I *think* they all stayed fresh and in tact.

The reason for all the cookie mailing was…

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

!!!!!

This was my first year participating and I was really excited. It’s an event organized by two other food bloggers, Julie and Lindsay (both who I had the pleasure of meeting over the summer), that not only coordinates all the cookie mailing, but helps to raise money for Kids Cancer. Last I read, this year, with the help of a few sponsors matching the contributions, the tally was at $12,000.

I mean… is this the best reason to bake cookies ever, or what?

Hot Chocolate peppermint Cookies

It was great fun for a great cause and I was the lucky recipient of 3 delicious batches from other bloggers around the country.

I got a box of these AWESOME Mint Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies from Dorothy at Crazy for Crust.

Then I got a pretty tin of these Chocolate Cookie Dough Cookies from Janet at Food Beautiful.

The last box I got were these Tie Dye Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies from The Seaside Baker!

So. Let’s discuss these cookies. Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies are a little different because I used… shortening. I know.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookie Recipe

When I read the recipe I was feeling iffy. I mean helloooo BUTTER. But after I made this Cranberry White Chocolate Pound Cake I’ve been trying to be more open minded with other fats in my baking.

The shortening is delicious! And these are perfect. Rich dark cocoa powder, just like in my from scratch hot chocolate recipe. Crushed peppermint crunch baking chips. Chocolate chips. The texture of a brownie with that slight bite you get out of a corner piece.

Ohhhh yeahhhh. You know what I’m talking about.

5.0 from 8 reviews
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Chewy, rich Holiday cookies with the delicious flavors of peppermint and hot chocolate. These have the texture of a brownie in cookie dough form, come together simply, and are so delicious!
Author:
Serves: 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup shortening
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup peppermint crunch baking chips *See Note*
  • 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl cream the shortening and brown sugar. Mix in the water and vanilla. Then add the eggs. Mix until combined.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add it to the sugar/egg mixture.
  4. Stir in the peppermint crunch baking chips and the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 7 - 9 minutes (8 was exactly perfect for me). Let the cookies cool slightly before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
1. Sometimes the Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips can be elusive! Sometimes it's easier to find the Peppermint Crunch candies and chop them into bits yourself. I love the red and white in my holiday cookies but if you can't find them the regular Andes mint baking chips will work well. too. Also -- when in doubt, check Big Lots.
2. I've found that it's important to keep this cookie dough cool. If the dough gets too warm (like if your kitchen gets too warm while you're baking) the cookies spread out and are more crisp than chewy. I like to refrigerate the dough either in the bowl or portioned out onto the cookie sheet until ready to bake.

 This is a Hershey’s Kitchens cookie recipe. I only swapped some of the chocolate for peppermint. One thing I’ve learned over the years of baking is that if it’s chocolate the Hershey’s people do it up really right.

For more information on The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap {or to be on next years email list!} Sign Up Here

AND!!! If you’d like some quick easy tips on How to Ship Baked Goods I wrote a whole tutorial on it. I have lots of treat-mailing practice.

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Shelly

Friday 21st of December 2018

To answer a question on using regular cocoa powder versus dark cocoa powder...try including up to a TB of ground espresso. It brings out the chocolate flavor and makes a darker, richer chocolate taste. I do that trick for chocolate muffins all the time!

Heather Tullos

Saturday 22nd of December 2018

YASSSSS. Espresso powder 🙌 I ALWAYS have 4 things handy: 1. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder (what I used here) 2. King Arthur's Triple Cocoa Blend. It's a winner in every recipe - especially those where you are not sure if you should go dark or milk with your chocolate. 3. King Arthur's Black Cocoa. It is INTENSE. I love it in cakes and brownies and since these are brownie cookies it works well here for serious chocolate flavor. 4. King Arthur's Espresso Powder OR Instant Espresso Granules from the coffee aisle at the grocery store. The tiny bit of deep coffee flavor blooms the chocolate the same way hot coffee instead of hot water does in chocolate cake.

Leah

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

These were fantastic; chocolaty, minty, a true Christmas treat! I used Hershey peppermint kisses as that's what I was able to get here outside Toronto, Ont. Canada. Was worried that they were not cooked after 8 minutes but they set up perfectly and are soft and crisp at same time!!

Heather Tullos

Thursday 20th of December 2018

Thank you, Leah! So glad you enjoyed these! Happy Holidays!

Jenne

Tuesday 18th of December 2018

If i use butter is it the same amount as shortening?

Heather Tullos

Thursday 20th of December 2018

I've never made these with butter!

Caity

Saturday 15th of December 2018

These were delicious (I used crushed candy canes and parchment paper helped so much!)

Unfortunately, I didn't get much rise from these, even with fresh baking powder. Any suggestions?

Heather Tullos

Thursday 20th of December 2018

Make the cookie dough sort of oval / egg shaped when you put them on the baking sheet. Instead of just a ball. It helps the center stay thick :)

Elizabeth

Friday 14th of December 2018

Do I need to chill the dough before baking? The Directions don't mention it but the notes do. Thanks

Heather Tullos

Friday 14th of December 2018

No chill required!