Brown butter and peppermint come together in an irresistible shortbread cookie! Add a white chocolate candy cane kiss on top and you have a festive holiday cookie perfect for Christmas.
What is it about brown butter that just makes food SO much better??
This recipe brings a simple shortbread cookie to a whole other level with the addition of browned butter and a white chocolate peppermint kiss.
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I absolutely love Christmas baking! What I don’t love is how involved so many of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes are. I’ve been making a version of this cookie for many years now. In previous years I would roll out and cut the shortbread, bake it, dip it in white chocolate and then crushed candy canes. The cookies are amazing, but time consuming to create.
This year I set out to make the recipe easier. I mean it is the Christmas season. We are all busy and frankly, we all need easy in our lives. The flavor is still all brown butter, white chocolate and peppermint, but is much faster to complete.
It took me five different tries to be happy with the result on this recipe. The first three didn’t have enough flour and spread too much. I experimented with just scooping the dough onto the baking sheet and rolling them into balls. I tested scooping the just made dough and chilling the dough prior to scooping. Needless to say, every result came out delicious even if they didn’t look the way I wanted them to.
WHY CALL IT A PEPPERMINT BLOSSOM?
Peanut butter blossoms are a well recognized cookie. The cookie had it’s debut in 1957 at the Pillsbury Bake-Off (click here for the iconic recipe). They grace everything from bake sales to holiday cookie trays. Comprised of a soft peanut butter cookie topped with a Hershey’s Kisses.
I call this recipe a peppermint blossom since the brown butter shortbread is topped with a Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Kiss. You get the same iconic look, but a new flavor combination.
WHAT IS BROWN BUTTER?
Brown butter or beurre noisette is a French classic. It can be used in savory dishes and sauces or in baking and pastry. Brown butter has a deep yellow to brown color and adds a wonderful nutty flavor. The brown bits that form are the toasted milk solids and they hold a lot of the flavor. Make sure to scrape all those bits out of your pan!
The whole process to create brown butter is quick. In 10 minutes or less the butter will melt, foam up, then brown. It can go from browned to burned quickly, so stay with it!
MAKING BROWN BUTTER PEPPERMINT BLOSSOMS
First brown the butter and set it aside. For detailed instructions and photos of browning butter see this post. The brown butter needs at least an hour to cool and firm up before proceeding.
Once the brown butter is ready; beat the brown butter, room temperature butter and brown sugar in either a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. It takes 1-2 minutes until the mixture is creamy and well combined.
Add the flour and salt and mix on low until combined. The mixture will be very sandy and may not form a thick ball of dough. Grab a handful and squeeze the dough, if it sticks together in a ball it is ready. Press the dough together into a ball, cover, flatten to about 1 inch and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After the dough has chilled, scoop 1 tablespoon portions of dough. You can either lay the flat side of the dough scoops onto the prepared baking sheet or you can roll each portion into a ball first. I prefer the look of the cookies when they are rolled into a ball, but the taste is the same whichever method you chose.
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes. Then allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before placing a candy cane kiss into each cookie. The cookies may split a little as you place the kiss. Move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. If you notice the kisses melting too much you can place the cookies in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to prevent melting.
I also experimented with placing a kiss point side down into the cookie, letting it melt a little and then pressing it in further and allowing it to melt. I think they look kind of fun that way too!
MORE FESTIVE COOKIES YOU MAY ENJOY
- Coconut Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Always Perfect Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Confetti Cookies
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- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 30 Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped
- Brown ½ cup of the butter. To brown your butter, place the unsalted butter over low heat and let it cook until small brown flakes form. You will want to stir or swirl the pan frequently to keep it from burning. The butter will foam and bubble up during the process, just keep stirring/swirling and move the foam aside from time to time to check the color. The butter will turn an amber/brown color and will smell nutty and toasted when it’s ready. Pour melted butter and all the browned bits into a glass bowl to cool and solidify. It needs about 1 hour at room temperature to be cool and solid.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the browned butter, room temperature butter and brown sugar for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt and mix on low until combined. The mixture will be very sandy and may not form a thick ball of dough. Grab a handful and squeeze the dough, if it sticks together in a ball it is ready. Press the dough together into a ball, cover, flatten to about 1 inch and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Once chilled, scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on the prepared sheet pan about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges.
- Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 3-5 minutes, then place one white chocolate peppermint kiss into each cookie. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 16mg Sodium: 37mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g
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