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White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies

I am taking a break from Christmas Week today to be part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This is my first year participating, but the 3rd year it has been around. The organizers Lindsay and Julie out did themselves this year. Each participant paid $4 to be a part of the swap. We then sent out 1 dozen cookies to 3 different people. So you then receivee 1 dozen cookies from 3 different people. This year the corporate sponsors were OXO, Dixie Sugar Crystals, Grandma’s Molasses, and Gold Medal Flour. Each company matched our donations, so we raised over $13,000 for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer.

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Peppermint Patty Fudge Cookies

Peppermint Patty Fudge Cookies 4 labeled

I am sure I have told you this before, but I love mint and chocolate together, especially during this time of year.  So when you have a chocolatey, fudgy cookie that includes York Peppermint Patties, I am in love.  In my adult life, Peppermint Patties have become a guilty pleasure of  mine.

I saw these cookies awhile ago on Pinterest, and knew they would make a great holiday cookie.  And boy was I right!  They are rich and full of chocolate.  But the peppermint swirled throughout leaves such a cooling and light finish to them.  I haven’t brought cookies to school in awhile, so I decided to change that.  I brought them right before their lunch break, so I was still there when they were being eaten.  Let’s just say they went over well.  I made them wait a whole 6 days for the recipe, so hopefully they still love me :)

I know there are lots of people out there who aren’t big bakers, so I am going to let you in on a little secret.  The trick to a great cookie….under bake it.  Seriously.  Not crazy amounts, just a minute or two.  They stay soft and chewy for much longer.  Plus if you want to microwave it for a few seconds for the fresh out of the oven taste, they are still gooey!  And in my opinion, nothing beats a gooey cookie.

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Peppermint Hot Chocolate #ChristmasWeek

Christmas Week

Welcome to day #2 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Peppermint Surprise”.

I love peppermint this time of year, but since I shared Mint Chocolate Pudding Cookies yesterday, I wanted to go a little different today.  So I did a drink!  I am not a coffee drinker, but I do like going to Starbucks for one thing.  Their Peppermint Hot Chocolate is amazing!  I am sure it is full of whole milk, and full fat whipped cream, but I made something pretty darn close with a lot less calories at home!

Hot Chocolate from scratch is so easy, and tastes so much better than those instant packets.  All you have to do is heat some milk over a low heat, throw in some chocolate to let it melt.  Stir in a little sugar, and in this case peppermint, and you are done.  You don’t even have to stand over it, stirring the whole time!

I made this while my son was at school, but made sure to save him some for a snack.  He was thrilled. He loves hot chocolate, and was very happy with this version.  Plus he got a candy cane out of it, so how could I go wrong :)  This would be great to have around for the holidays.  Make this, dump it in the crock pot to keep it warm, and you have a great party drink.  You could even swap out the peppermint extract for a peppermint liquor for the grown ups!

This isn’t my only post today!  I am also making Peanut Butter Cup Blossom Cookies as part of #25recipestoXmas.  I hope you will check them out, they are kind of over the top and delicious!

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Hershey's Peppermint Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies

My house is Christmafied!  Yes, that is a word!  We got our Christmas tree on Saturday, and boy was that an adventure.  My husband and I both grew up going to a Christmas Tree Farm, and cutting down our own tree.  Since we have been married though, we have never lived near a place where that was economical or easily accessible.  Well that all changed this year.  We live near the mountains, and the mountains have trees!  Saturday morning we were doing our research to see where we should go.  My husband came across information about a National Forest that allowed you to cut down trees.  You could buy a permit and trek into the forest to get your tree (snow shoes recommended).  One little problem, you needed a 4wd vehicle.  After calling around we found a place that had a 4wd vehicle available to rent for the afternoon.  So we got all of our stuff together and set out on our National Lampoon Adventure.  We had to drive about an hour to get there, but once there it was amazing.  We were surprised  by how many people were there (a couple hundred at least).  Smokey the Bear was there to greet everyone and take pictures.  We got on our snow shoes and trekked through the National Forest to find a tree!  In the end we cut down one small tree for our 6 year old to decorate, and then went to a local place to get a big family tree.  As much fun as it was, the trees were all very much Charlie Brown trees.  It was a “Forest” afterall.  I do think this will become a tradition though, it was something we could have never done living in the Midwest.

Ok, onto the food!

Oh! Nuts contacted me to see if I would like to try some of their nuts for my Holiday baking.  Of course I would!!  I wanted to do a holiday version of a White Chocolate Macadamian Nut Cookie.  I love the Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses, and knew they would be a major player in my recipe.  Then, I saw these White Chocolate Peppermint cookies over at Love from the Oven, and knew this was along the lines of what I was looking for.   I was very nervous about baking cookies in the altitude, but it worked!!  They came out thick and chewy.  You can see my alterations in blue below if you are baking at anything over 3500 feet.

These would make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray.  They are soft, chewy, full of peppermint, and have the crunch from the nuts.

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