Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Hearts

I've had my eye on these cookies for a couple of months now.  I saw the recipe in a Martha Stewart magazine and had to make it happen.  I really like the way the melted peppermints look like a stained glass window pane.  This is a pretty simple recipe with only eight ingredients.  That's my kind of recipe.  

Chocolate and Peppermint Hearts

20 round hard peppermint candies
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl.  Beat butter and sugar with a mixer until combined.  Beat in egg, then vanilla and beat for 1 minute.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until combined.  Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Roll out dough to 1/8" thick.  Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Cut out heart shapes using cookie cutters.  Cut a smaller heart from the center of each cookie using cookie cutters that are about 1" smaller than the larger cutter used.  Transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1" apart.  Bake until slightly firm, about 12 - 15 min.
Fill the center of each cookie with ground peppermints.  Bake until cookie melts, about 6 minutes.  Let cookies cool on sheets set on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Transfer cookies to racks, and let cool completely.

Eight simple ingredients.  What's that?  You only count seven?  Salt was a no-show for the photo.  Oops.

Mix flour, cocoa, and salt with a whisk and then set aside.  


Beat butter and sugar then add eggs and vanilla.  Beat for one more minute.  

Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in cocoa mixture.  

Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.  

It would have been a perfect recipe if I had been able to find my set of heart cookie cutters.  I used to have about seven different heart shaped cookie cutters, each one just a bit bigger than the other.  My girls love them.  They're excellent for playing with play dough and for pretending in the little mini-kitchen and for just carting around.  I made this cookie dough early in the week and have spent the past few days rummaging through all the toy baskets and boxes in a failed attempt to find the largest heart shape.  With the dough in the fridge and the candies on my counter, I could not just abort the recipe.  I could use circles, but hey, it's almost Valentine's Day.  I'm determined to find a large heart shaped cookie cutter, no matter what I have to do.

I live way too far away from real shopping areas to even consider driving around town looking for another one to buy.  So I'm on my own now, time to get crafty.  I busted out my tools and opened my fridge and found a small knight in shining armor who would save the day, my trusty can of chicken broth.  I have no idea how long that can has been sitting in there.  It was time to get rid of it anyway.  And the circumference of the can is just the right size for making the perfect sized heart shaped cookie cutter.  All I need is a little cross section.

Knight in shining armor

Remove the top

Use a hacksaw to slice off a ring that's about and inch and a half thick.  That sounds easier than it really was.  You should really have band-aids at the ready and be prepared to spend some time sawing away.


Sand the edges smooth.

Bend into a heart shape.

It was worth it.

Now, finally, get the dough out of the fridge and roll it out to about 1/8" thick.  Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate again until firm.

Unwrap candies and grind them in the blender.

Cut out shapes and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Don't skip the parchment paper here or you'll never get the cookies off the pan in one piece.  

Bake until slightly firm, 12 - 15 minutes.

Fill the center of each cookie with ground peppermints.  Bake until candy melts, about 6 minutes.  Let cookies cool on sheets set on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Transfer cookies to racks and let cool completely.


  1. Lisa!!!! This is so cool! I love your ingenuity! You MADE your own cookie cutter!!! What's the inside like? Is the candy center hard again and does it stick well to the cookie? YummY! You inspire me. Whenever I am in a bind, I always think, can I figure something out or do something about it??? What can I do??? You are one of my great examples and reasons I think that way and one of my heros!

  2. Move over Martha Stewart! Lisa, you absolutely ROCK! Your creativity, your photography, your ability to not only make-do with what you have , but to make-do with a flair is unsurpassed! McGyver and Stewart pale in your light!

  3. Yeah so your cookie cutter is down right awesome!!! The cookies look fantastic as well!!!