Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Kisses.

Unfortunately, I have been feeling particularly “Grinchy” lately. The holidays, as always, are flying at me far too quickly, and I feel unprepared to fully love and appreciate the holiday season the way that I like to. I also have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas, so every time I think about the holiday I get a tiny bit peeved at the fact that I have to work. Then, I remember that I chose a career where I knew I would have to work holidays, and nights, and weekends (so this shouldn’t be a surprise) and that truly, I am so very blessed to have a job at all (especially considering the number of classmates I have who are still searching). Oh, yah…working the holidays ISN’T such a big deal. But, sometimes, in my moments of me-focused weakness/pity party, I still need a holiday-cheer pick me up. So, last Monday, I headed to the kitchen to make these Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Kisses, the newest addition to my holiday cookie repertoire. It is a recipe that is here to stay, that’s for sure, especially considering that I got them to turn out well, even in this mile-high, cookie destroying city I now call home!

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Kisses

{Ingredients}

– 3/4 C ( 1 1/2 sticks) butter

– 1 1/2 C packed brown sugar

– 2 Tbsp water

– 2 1/4 C dark chocolate chips

– 1/2 tsp vanilla

– 2 eggs

– 2 1/2 C sifted all purpose flour

– 1 1/4 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1 bag Candy Cane Kisses candies

{Directions}

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Put butter, brown sugar and water in a large saucepan and stir over low heat until melted. Add dark chocolate chips and stir until most of the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until all the chocolate is melted. Add in 1/2 tsp vanilla and mix well. Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to sit and cool for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times to help cooling.

Carefully measure 2 1/2 C of sifted all purpose flour into a large bowl; add in baking soda and salt – sift together

When the chocolate is cooler, add in one egg at a time, beating each on high speed until completely blended. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in dry ingredients.

PM cookies 1

Chill the dough for about an hour – while it’s chilling – unwrap the Candy Cane Kiss candies. Roll dough into 1/2″ to 1″ balls and place on un-greased or parchment lined baking sheet about 1 1/2″ apart. Bake about 7 minutes (could be as long as 9 minutes – do NOT overbake). When the cookies come out of the oven, place a Candy Cane Kiss on top of each hot cookie in the middle and let them sit about 5 minutes. Using a toothpick, swirl the softened Candy Cane Kiss until you like the pattern, it will just melt down onto the cookie.

Serve chilled straight out of the refrigerator or at room temperature, either way – they’re delicious!

PM cookies 3

{Photo from A Southern Fairytale, the origin of this recipe.}

The original recipe actually called for dark brown sugar and vanilla bean paste. I had neither, so I substituted light brown sugar and vanilla and they still turned out perfectly. DARK chocolate is a must though, so don’t skimp here. I also cut the baking soda to 1 tsp to deal with the altitude and it seemed to do the trick!

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