Thursday, December 18, 2008

Peppermint Sugar Cookies for Operation Baking GALS

The great Lily Von Schtoop from Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen told me about Operation Baking GALS a few months ago, and I instantly thought it would be a great way for me to use my skills (baking!) to do a little something. Each round, bakers send care packages to members of the armed forces (full details can be found here). I joined Team Calamity Shazaam for this round, and finally managed to get my package out yesterday. I included these peppermint sugar cookies, as well as lots of gingerbread men and a little bit of candy. Hopefully these will help make the holidays feel a little more like home for our soldier and his friends, stationed in Afghanistan.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 sticks (14 Tbsp) butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
10-12 candy canes

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and eggs and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mixing at low speed, add in baking powder, salt, and flour, until well combined.

In a small food processor or in a heavy plastic bag, pulverize the candy canes until no large chunks remain. Pour the candy into a shallow bowl.

Working with wet hands, roll dough into walnut-size balls. Roll balls in powdered candy, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Wet the bottom of a drinking glass and use to flatten each ball into 1/2-inch thick disks. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to brown; do not over-bake, or the candy will get too hard to eat easily. Move cookies to a wire rack to cool.

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