Cookie Palooza – No Bake Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week of cookies. I’m ending Cookie Palooza 2017 with an easy no bake cookie that only requires three ingredients, four if you count the sprinkles… Peppermint Chocolate Wafers.

First ingredient… Melted semi-sweet chocolate. I melted the chocolate using a double-boiler. You could melt the chocolate in the microwave (which was always my preferred method,) but I find melting the chocolate in a double boiler minimizes the chance of scorching the chocolate and you can keep it warm while you’re working so it will stay smooth and thin. Whereas when you melt it in the microwave after a few minutes the chocolate begins to thicken. Creating a double boiler is quite simple… fill a medium saucepan about a little less than halfway with water – you don’t want to fill it too much because then when you place the bowl in the water it will spill over. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat so the water is simmering. Place a heatproof bowl in the water, add chopped chocolate and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Once the chocolate has melted, reduce the flame to low to keep the chocolate warm and add in the peppermint extract (the second ingredient), stir to mix in.

Dip the Nilla Wafers (third ingredient) in the chocolate and flip them over to get them fully covered. The process will go much easier if you have candy dipping tools, but if not a fork will work well. Once cookies are covered lift the cookies out of the chocolate and let the excess drip and then place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle them with festive sprinkles or crushed peppermint candy/candy canes (fourth ingredient.)

 

Once you are done dipping the cookies place them in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes so the chocolate can harden.

And that’s it! A simple cookie that’s perfect for the season and best of all, doesn’t require you to turn on your oven.

Happy Holidays!!!

Peppermint Chocolate Dipped Cookies

Ingredients:

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped*

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

30 – 36 Nilla Wafer cookies

Sprinkles, optional

Directions:

Melt the chocolate using a double boiler on medium to medium low heat. Once the chocolate has melted add the peppermint extract and stir well to combine. Keep the heat on low for the double boiler so that the chocolate will remain smooth and thin.

Dip the wafers in the chocolate one at a time, making sure to coat the entire cookie. Remove from the chocolate and let the excess drip off before placing on a wax paper lined baking sheet to set.

Sprinkle with sprinkles or crushed peppermint candy. Or let the chocolate set for a few minutes and then drizzle with the left-over melted chocolate. Place in the refrigerator so the chocolate can harden. Store in an airtight container.

*You could also use chocolate chips

**The ratio of peppermint extract to chocolate I used was 1/4 teaspoon per 4 oz.

Nilla Wafer Cupcakes with Banana Cream Cheese Frosting

I have a confession to make; I have never had a s’more. It sounds like a good combination, a roasted marshmallow sandwiched between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate; then again, I am not a big fan of marshmallows. I used to love them as a child but somewhere along the way I just wasn’t as keen on them as I got older. And then recently, in the July issue of Real Simple magazine, I came across a recipe for S’mores Cupcakes that I thought of trying but then I had the idea of swapping out the graham cracker crumbs in the cupcake for Nilla Wafer crumbs and because I didn’t think that the marshmallow and chocolate ganache would be the right topping for it I decided to create a banana cream cheese frosting to top it off.

IMG_4483

To begin I used a food processor to turn approximately twenty-five Nilla Wafer cookies into crumbs.

IMG_4458

I then whisked the crumbs in with flour, baking powder and salt.

IMG_4459

In another bowl I creamed together butter and sugar until it was light and fluffy and then added in two eggs – one at a time – and finally vanilla extract. It was then time to add the crumb mixture along with whole milk to this mixture.

IMG_4461

I alternated between the crumb mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the crumb mixture, until the batter came together.

IMG_4462

Using my trusted ice cream scoop I filled a 12-cup muffin tin lined with paper liners.

IMG_4466

After baking for a little over 20 minutes (I rotated the tin halfway through) the cupcakes were done. I let them cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing them and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.

IMG_4471

And then it was time for the frosting… To begin I used an electric mixer to beat an overripe banana to “liquefy” it.

IMG_4475

Following that I added in one stick of butter and an 8 oz. bar of cream cheese – both at room temperature – and creamed them together until they were incorporated. To sweeten the frosting a bit I added in 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar 1/4 cup at a time. I ended up with a frosting that was quite fluffy.

IMG_4476

While it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to let the frosting sit in the refrigerator for a few minutes so it could stiffen up a bit, I opted to frost with it immediately.

IMG_4480

Final verdict… A winning flavor combination!

IMG_4489

 

 

Nilla Wafer Cupcakes – Adapted from here

Makes 12

1 cup Nilla Wafer crumbs (from 25-30 crackers – If you have any extra crumbs you can use them as a topping for the cupcakes)

1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup whole milk

1. Heat the oven to 350 F and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together the Nilla Wafer crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Beat the butter and sugar in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and milk, alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing well between additions. Mix until just combined.

3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake, rotating once, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Banana Cream Cheese Frosting

1 overripe banana

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 oz. (1 bar) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Beat the banana with an electric mixer on medium speed to “liquefy” it. Add the butter and cream cheese and continues mixing until all of the ingredients are well combined.

2. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar in 2 additions – 1/4 cup at a time. Continue mixing until the sugar has been completely incorporated.