December 9, 2009

Cookies - Peppermint Meltaways

Who doesn't love a batch of warm cookies fresh from the oven? Recently our daughter K made these for our 4-H Food and Craft Fair; last summer she and her older sister made them and entered them in M's county fair. Both times the cookies won a blue ribbon.

These are quick and easy to make. Instead of making the frosting from scratch, K used cream cheese frosting and added the peppermint extract. She used a sandwich size zipper-top bag to frost the cookies: she filled the bag and zipped it up, then cut a small hole in a bottom corner and squeezed out the frosting as though it were an icing bag.

Soft peppermint candies are much easier to crush than the hard peppermints, and are easier on the eater's teeth.

And of course, no recipe will make as many cookies as it says it will. This time K made 2 1/2 dozen. Two days later, there are only 4 cookies left on the plate, and they won't make it past breakfast, I'm sure.

Peppermint Meltaways
from Taste of Home

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, extract and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

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