Intro: Peppermint Snowballs
These little two-bite wonders are perfect for the holidays. When the Christmas season starts, I pull out all the mint recipes I can think of -- this is one of my favorites.
Step 1: Ingredients
1. One-and-one-fourth (1 1/4) cups of crushed (as close to powder form as you can get) of peppermints (about 45 peppermint candies like the Starlight Mints)
2. One-and-one-third (1 1/3) cups of sugar, divided
3. Three-fourths (3/4) of a cup of butter (a stick and a half) [Alt version: Use one-half (1/2) a cup of butter and one-fourth (1/4) a cup of shortening. This will produce rounder cookies. Using all butter is healthier but causes the cookies the flatten a bit; I personally think using all butter also tastes better.]
4. Two (2) eggs
5. One (1) teaspoon peppermint extract
6. Three-fourths (3/4) a teaspoon of vanilla extract
7. Two and a half (2 1/2) cups of flour
8. One-fourth (1/4) a teaspoon of salt
You'll also want and need assorted measuring cups and spoons, a hand or stand alone mixer, a spatula or mixing spoon, a food processor, a mixing bowl, a small bowl, a small plate, foil, and a baking sheet
Step 2: Peppermint Crush
Unwrap the peppermints and put them in a resealable / ziploc bag. I put the bag into another plastic bag and went at the mints with a hammer. After they were crushed, I put them into my mini food processor to pulverize even more.
Toward the end add one-third (1/3) cup of sugar and mix in. Pour into small bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 3: Mix It Up
In mixing bowl, cream butter and one (1) cup sugar till fluffy. Add eggs and extracts; beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients to form soft dough.
[Alt. version: Cream shortening with the butter and sugar.]
Step 4: Baking
Roll the dough into one (1) inch-sized balls and roll in the peppermint mixture. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake eight (8) minutes at 350 degrees.
IMPORTANT: Place only six (6) cookies on the baking sheet at a time for best results.
Step 5: Final Dusting
IMMEDIATELY after the cookies come out of the oven, roll them in the peppermint mixture again (This is why it's important to only put six (6) cookies on a sheet. You may not have enough time to roll more in the peppermint mixture before they cool off too much.)
This is where the small plate comes into play. I find that when I roll the hot cookies in the mixture, it melts it all together into a large hunk. So I cover a small plate with foil, place one cookie at a time on it, and use a spoon to cover the hot cookie with the peppermint mixture.
Once covered with the second coating, place the cookie on the rack or foil to cool.