DAMN. Say that three times fast. Or just once fast. It’s still difficult. But believe me when I say that these cookies are gonna rock your world almost as much as Drake headlining Coachella 2015 is rocking my world. I mean, I’m about to scream “HYFR” at the SAME time that DRAKE is SINGING it. WHAT.
But more on that later – first, these cookies.
During the holidays, I made this recipe at least 6 times for various friends and family in my life. Since I don’t celebrate Christmas, I prefer giving the gift of food during the season because (1) it is practical, and (2) nobody will ever say no to cookies being thrust at them. Especially when the cookies are overloaded with the finest of holiday cheer that Trader Joe’s has to offer – dark chocolate-covered candied ginger pieces and peppermint pretzels.
If you’ve never had peppermint pretzels, please heed this PSA: They are the snacking equivalent of crack. I had to buy twice as many of them because whenever I made these cookies, I’d end up eating all the pretzels before it was time to mix them in. The struggle was so, so real.
I adapted this recipe from SF pastry chef Yigit Pura’s book, Sweet Alchemy. I got to meet him at his book signing last year and have since been poring over his cookbook. Everything he makes is whimsical and delicious, qualities that I wanted to bring to these cookies when I baked them. I wanted them to be a good balance of crispy and chewy, with the familiar tastes of chocolate and peppermint mingled with surprising flavors like ginger and pretzels.
Since the cookie base is solid, you can mix in anything you want to ring in the new year – hazelnuts, toffee pieces, or in my case, more peppermint pretzels from the dozens of bags I’ve hoarded at Trader Joe’s. I’m actually debating making a batch and throwing them on stage in hopes to get Drake to notice me – thoughts?
Just hold on, we’re making cookies.
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 oz dark chocolate-candied ginger pieces (From Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup lightly crushed peppermint-pretzels (From Trader Joe’s)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and two sugars until the mixture is light and airy, about 2-3 minutes. In the meanwhile, measure out all dry ingredients and mix in a small bowl.
- Split the vanilla bean in half and take out seeds from half the pod. Add into the butter mixture along with 1 egg and beat until almost completely combined.
- Stop the mixer and scrape the sides down. Add the remaining egg and mix until thoroughly combined. Having the eggs at room temperature is key here to make sure that the mixture stays homogenous.
- Add the dry ingredients, dark chocolate-ginger pieces, and pretzel pieces and mix on the lowest speed until JUST combined. Do not overmix. Turn the mixer off and use a spatula to make sure there is no remaining flour at the bottom.
- Place the dough (still in the bowl of the stand mixer) in the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes. The cookies will be much easier to scoop.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and scoop out Tablespoon-sized portions of dough. Use your hands to roll them into symmetrical round balls and press them slightly into the baking pan. You can have around 6-7 cookies per half-sheet pan.
- Bake at 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and then bake for an additional 3-4 minutes until the edges are browned the center is still a light beige color. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack – they will get darker as they cool.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week.