A Very Chocolate Christmas

Just because the CDC issued a warning not to allow kids to consume raw cookie dough, doesn’t mean you should put the kibosh on holiday baking with your little ones.

My 7-year-old loves to help out in the kitchen, especially this time of year when she can fine-tune her cookie-creating skills. In addition to fostering your child’s creative side, baking also allows kids to sharpen their math skills. By giving them the chance to assist you in the kitchen, youngsters also get schooled in time management, teamwork, and depending on how well the recipe turns out, you will likely see a boost in their self confidence.

Last Christmas my daughter and I baked an array of sweet treats, from Peppermint brownies to Lemon Raspberry Bars; however, this year, time has not been on my side, so I’ve been forced to reduce our menu to cookies only. On the bright side, I allowed my daughter to select the recipes. Naturally, she went with a chocolate theme.

The following recipe is one of our family’s favorites and is simple enough that even young children can get in on the action:


Ingredients for Cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups flour

Ingredients for Chocolate Coating:

1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon peppermint extract


In large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add in peppermint extract followed by salt and cocoa powder; mix.

Add flour and mix to incorporate.

Divide dough in two pieces and place each on large sheet of plastic wrap.

Flatten into 1/2-inch thick circles, wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove chilled dough, place circle between two sheets of parchment; roll out to 1/8-inch thick.

Cut desired holiday shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven; cool on pan 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

In the meantime, melt chocolate and stir in peppermint extract.

Place one cooled cookie on slotted spatula, carefully dip into the chocolate, coat completely and carefully lift cookie out. Hold cookie on spatula, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place cookie onto wire cooling rack to let chocolate set. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Place coated cookies in freezer for one hour to set before storing or serving.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.