Christmas

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

You knew I couldn’t stay away from the chocolate for too long! I’m catching us all up on chocolate by providing double the chocolate today. For day seven of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies I present to you Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies! They should really be called double chocolate double peppermint cookies since, you guessed it, there’s both double the chocolate and double the peppermint, but I figured one “double” would work just as well.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do these round, dark and slightly crispy cookies look familiar? If they do, it’s because we’re using the same cookie base from the Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops recipe. Back in February, Matt and I couldn’t get enough of the buttery dark chocolate cookies. The first time I posted this cookie base I described them as a buttery version of the Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle and that is so spot on. Except this time, we’re dipping them in peppermint-flavored melted semisweet chocolate and sprinkling crushed candy canes on top to make them extra festive.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

A couple months ago I shared these cookies with some friends and they were a big hit. I love when recipes like these are a big hit. And by recipes like these I mean recipes that are easy! So easy!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

First of all, the cookie dough comes together in a food processor. I use this 14-cup food processor by Cuisinart. The dough is pulsed together then cold butter cubes are added and you continue to pulse until the dough completely comes together, just like if you were making a pie crust. Cold butter also means no waiting for ingredients to come to room temperature – hurray!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I made the cookie pops, the cookie dough was rolled out, but to simplify things even more I’ve adjusted these to be made as slice-and-bake cookies. The dough comes out of the food processor and is rolled into a log in plastic wrap. Pop it into the fridge overnight or until firm and then it’s time to slice the dough into rounds and bake up the cookies! Once cooled, a quick dip into some minty melted chocolate and some sprinkling of peppermint candy and you’re done! Yum! I hope you all enjoy these!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Candy canes, crushed, for decorating
  • White sanding sugar for decorating, optional
Directions
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, granulated sugar and salt. Once combined, add the cold butter cubes and the vanilla extract. Pulse until the mixture looks like it has larger crumbs and will hold together when pinched. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or clean work surface and press the dough into a ball. Knead the dough a few times. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and work it into a log with a 2.5-3 inch diameter. Roll the dough log in the plastic wrap (I usually continue rolling and shaping it while it’s wrapped in plastic). Refrigerate the dough log until firm or overnight.
  2. Make sure oven racks are positioned in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into ⅜-inch thick cookies and arrange 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 25-27 minutes, switching the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the pan on a wire cooling rack then transfer cookies to the wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  3. Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring in 15 second intervals until it’s melted and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. Dip a cooled cookie halfway into the melted chocolate, place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and sprinkle with crushed candy canes and white sanding sugar (if using). Repeat for the rest of the cookies, melting more chocolate if needed. Towards the end I didn’t want to melt more so I just used a spoon to help spread it on the remaining cookies. Place in the fridge until the chocolate sets then remove and store at room temperature.

 

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy December! December is clearly the king of all months when it comes to cookies so it only makes sense to share a royally epic cookie recipe for my first post of the month. Here on day six of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies we’re all about these Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These are my favorite cookies I’ve ever made. I know, I know, such a bold statement! Especially when there’s no chocolate and they’re decorated cookies so you’re probably wondering who I am and what happened to Lauren. However, they are my favorite cookies I’ve ever made because they’re the first cookie where I’ve gone out of the box and truly experimented with flavor – and they turned out amazing. So amazing that I ended up having to make multiple batches of them last holiday season.

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

After plenty of trial and error, these sugar cookies are tender and have the perfect balance of rosemary and lemon flavoring. Both are present without either being too overpowering and they both add something unique and that-was-so-good-I-need-another-one-ness to the cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The glaze on top is lightly flavored with lemon as well and it adds just the right amount of sweetness to the cookies. Plus, it makes them look extra cute and festive!

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The inspiration for these cookies came from watching all the different holiday baking competition shows last year. There were a few times the bakers used savory herbs in their recipes and I was so intrigued by the idea and the judges positive reactions that I figured I would give it a shot. I never thought a lemon rosemary cookie would be in my must-bake holiday cookie line-up, but here we are! Enjoy, everyone!

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies
 
Yield: about 24 medium cookies
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), slightly softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract (or ¼ teaspoon lemon oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Zest from ½ large lemon
for the icing
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 - 2½ tablespoons room temperature water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Green sanding sugar and sprinkles, for decoration
Directions
for the cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon extract, almond extract and lemon zest. Beat on high until fully combined.
  4. Add half the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining half and beat until only a few streaks remain. If the dough feels too soft add an additional 1 tablespoon of flour.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Roll out the first half onto a piece of parchment until you have a slab about ¼” to ⅛” thick. Repeat with the remaining half. If the dough is too sticky to roll out, put in the fridge for about 10 minutes before rolling. Stack the parchment slabs on top of one another on a baking sheet and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  6. Use a medium cookie cutter to cut out the dough. Place the cut cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake each cookie sheet for 9-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. Cookies are done when they have lightly colored edges and tops. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack then move to the cooling rack to cool completely.
for the icing
  1. Whisk everything together, starting with the 2 tablespoons of water. When you hold up your whisk and let it drip, the icing should hold for just a few seconds before dripping. If it’s too thick add the additional ½ tablespoon of water. If it’s too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  2. When the cookies are completely cooled, fill the icing in a pastry bag fit with a small tip to ice the cookies. Ice a few at a time before sprinkling with sanding sugar and sprinkles before they harden. I usually do this with the cookies set in a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper so sprinkles don’t go all over the place. Let the cookies set at room temperature for 24 hours to give the icing time to completely harden before stacking in containers.

 

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes the tastiest recipes are born out of a classic fridge and freezer clean-out. Last month I was trying to clear out our freezer to have space for all the freezer meals I prepped in anticipation of our little guy’s arrival. Side note: I plan to do a detailed freezer meal prep post when I’m back from my maternity leave so stay tuned!

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyways, the freezer was stuffed with all sorts of odds and ends, one of which was a package of these frozen mini fillo shells. I can’t for the life of me remember why I bought them, but it was clearly for some recipe that never came to be. While I was brainstorming what to stuff the flaky tartlet shells with I thought about how much I love baked brie, especially in the fall when it starts getting chilly outside.

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

These bites are a take on a baked brie that’s been cooked until gooey and smothered with warm nuts and dried fruit. The first time I made them they were really good, but they needed more of that gooey brie so I adjusted the recipe to ensure you won’t be missing the cheese in your tartlets.

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

For the topping, we’re combining crunchy toasted pecans, tart dried cranberries, dried apricots and some apricot preserves for a little sweetness. This mixture gets dolloped on top of the brie in the fillo shells before being baked for just ten minutes. These is a great mini appetizer for Thanksgiving or a Christmas party, especially because it is so incredibly quick to throw together.

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now, I hope you all have enjoyed the last several savory recipes because from this Friday until Christmas Lemon & Mocha is going to be all about the sweets! I’m doing something fun and exciting this holiday season: Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies. I have so many must-make cookie recipes to share and I can’t wait for you to see them all!

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets
 
Yield: 15 tartlets
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 6 ounces brie, rind removed
  • 15 frozen mini fillo shells (Athens brand)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toast the pecans. Place the chopped pecans on a baking sheet then bake for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the toasted pecans, dried cranberries, chopped apricots and apricot preserves. Set aside.
  4. Place the tartlet shells on a baking sheet. Cut the brie so you can put a small wedge into the bottom of each tartlet shell. Cover the brie in the tartlet shell with a spoonful of the apricot mixture. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

 

Peanut Butter S’mores Fudge

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Peanut. Butter. S’mores. Fudge. YES! This, my friends, is what fudge dreams are made of and you can be eating some giddy with delight in no time at all.

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve shared the World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge and the unreal S’mores Fudge, but it was time these two met for an insanely delicious mash-up. I came up with this combination last year when I decided to morph together Matt’s favorite fudge variation, the S’mores Fudge (which is also my favorite), with my second favorite fudge variation, the World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge. After one bite, and then a second, third, and fourth, etc. just to make sure, I was convinced that peanut butter and s’mores belong together.

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have never made a peanut butter and s’mores treat before, but this one fudge recipe has changed that forever so expect some additional future pb-s’mores combinations. In the meantime, let’s focus on this life-changing fudge recipe in front of us.

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The base is the World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge with broken graham cracker pieces folded in. The second layer is the World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge with marshmallow fluff swirled in. Finally, it’s all topped off with some torched mini marshmallows. Yum!

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wanted this to still be a normal sized batch of fudge so we’re dividing the can of sweetened condensed milk between the two flavors and essentially making two half portions to get one regular sized batch. I promise you everyone will go nuts over this Peanut Butter S’mores Fudge!

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’re looking for more fudge inspiration as we head into the weekend, below are all the Lemon & Mocha fudge posts. Enjoy!

World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge
Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
S’mores Fudge
Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge
World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge
Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge
Dirt Fudge
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge
 
Yield: 64 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ ounce unsweetened Baker’s baking chocolate
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
  • ⅓ cup broken graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • ½ ounce Baker’s white baking chocolate
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • ⅓ cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula until fully melted.
  4. Carefully stir in half of the can condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the broken graham crackers.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
  6. When the double boiler is cool enough to clean, wash and dry to use for the second layer. Melt the peanut butter and the Baker’s white baking chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour in the peanut butter chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula until fully melted.
  8. Carefully stir in the remaining half of the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the marshmallow fluff.
  9. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan on top of the chocolate layer and smooth the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the mini marshmallows over top and lightly press down. Toast mini marshmallows in a broiler or with a kitchen torch. You can do this before or after the fudge has set in the fridge. If using the broiler be sure to watch it carefully so the marshmallows don’t over-toast.
  10. Refrigerate until the fudge is set then cut into bite size pieces. Best eaten straight from the fridge.

 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Good morning, everyone! Fudge week is continuing here on Lemon & Mocha with this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge. Similar to Monday’s variation, the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge introduces a tart element that pairs extremely well with the rich chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes in the fall and winter flavors can become really heavy so I love having a dessert with a bright fruitiness or acidity, which is exactly what we get with this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge. I’ve taken our classic chocolate fudge base and added raspberry extract before topping it off with some freeze dried raspberries and mini semisweet chocolate chips.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’ve had the World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge then you know it’s quite rich in its chocolate flavor so it takes a bit to break through all that chocolateyness. The amount of raspberry extract and freeze dried raspberries we’re adding allows the fudge to balance the fine line of the raspberry flavor being present while being neither overpowering nor too subtle.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The reason we’re using freeze dried raspberries instead of fresh raspberries is because when they are freeze dried the flavor becomes more concentrated, which is exactly what we need in this recipe. Also, we’re able to get the raspberry flavor without any additional moisture that fresh fruit would bring. You can find freeze dried raspberries in quite a few stores; I’ve bought them in both Target and Trader Joe’s.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Don’t forget the mini semisweet chocolate chips on top! Since they’re just chocolate on top of more chocolate they don’t actually add any flavor nuances to this fudge, but they make it look even cuter between all the pops of red from the raspberries and adding a nice textural bit to the topping. Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge
 
Yield: 64 pieces
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce unsweetened Baker’s baking chocolate
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
  • Freeze dried raspberries for topping, about 3 tablespoons
  • Mini semisweet chocolate chips for topping, about 3 tablespoons
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Double Boiler Method: If not using a double boiler, skip to the next step. Melt butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour in half the bag of chocolate chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted. Carefully stir in the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the raspberry extract. Skip to step 4.
  3. Saucepan Method: Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a medium nonstick saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly with a heatproof spatula to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. Let the mixture get a little warm then pour in half the bag of chocolate chips. Stir to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted, being sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Stir in the raspberry extract and remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Top with the freeze dried raspberries. Let cool very slightly then top with the mini chocolate chips. Press down lightly and refrigerate until the fudge is set. Once set cut into bite size pieces.