Holiday Peppermint “Oreos”
Want to hear something sad? I don’t live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s. Heartbreaking, isn’t it?
If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, or know someone who does, you’ve probably heard of Peppermint Jo-Jos – the Oreo-like cookies that have a peppermint cream filling. I found some knock-offs at my grocery store a few weeks ago and promptly devoured the whole bag. When I went back to buy more, I discovered they were out of stock. The horror!
So I did the only thing I could do and made my own. They’re not exactly the same, but boy are they close! Oreos are the only cookie I like crisp (instead of chewy) and I have to say the cookie dough is perfect. It was easy to work with and so tasty I couldn’t stop eating the scraps while I was making them. The finished cookies are like crisp, tender chocolate shortbread and I could eat about a million of them. Once filled with peppermint cream, these cookies are irresistible!
Holiday Peppermint “Oreos”
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Makes about 20 2-inch sandwich cookies
I opted for the quick and lazy method of using Hershey kisses and cream because I really hate breaking up candy canes. The traditional white chocolate + cream + candy cane combo (like what Tracey used) works just as well if you prefer that. The peppermint extract is optional, but really adds to the flavor in the filling.
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
15 tablespoons (7 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, at room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
48 “Candy Cane” Hershey’s kisses, unwrapped
peppermint extract, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpat mats.
Place kisses and heavy cream in a large, heat proof bowl and microwave on High at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until kisses are melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool. (You can pop it in the fridge to speed the cooling up.)
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix sugar, flour, cocoa powders, baking soda and salt on low speed until combined. With the mixer is running on low, add butter a few pieces at a time. Once it’s all added, continue to beat until sandy mixture gathers into a ball of dough.
Dump the dough out onto a floured or parchment/wax paper covered counter. Using your hands, form dough into a roughly 5 x 7-inch block. Cut block in half. Working with one half at a time, roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out cookie rounds and place them 1 inch apart on a prepared baking sheet. Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut out more cookies just once.
Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating cookies sheets top to bottom and front to back about halfway through. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To fill the cookies, the peppermint cream filling should be thickened and spreadable, but not runny. Fill a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag with the peppermint cream, and cut the tip off to create a small hole. Pipe the filling in spirals onto one upsidedown cookie. Top with another cookie and smoosh gently until filling reaches the edges. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container.