Chocolate Gifts

Experience a peppermint punch and rich chocolate flavors when you bite into one of these pretty packages. Thin and crispy chocolate cookies are enveloped in a smooth peppermint-flavor icing. Serve Chocolate Gifts with a hot cup of dark coffee containing a dash of cream.

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Royal Icing, recipe below

Directions

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar; beat until combined. Beat in egg, peppermint extract and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Cover dough and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. On a floured surface, roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness. Use a 3-inch-square cutter to cut cookie shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until light brown on bottom. Cool.

Royal Icing

  • 3½ cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 to ½ cup water

In a medium bowl, beat together powdered sugar, meringue powder, cream or tartar and water for 5 minutes or until fluffy and thick. Keep icing covered with plastic wrap. Tint as desired. For base layers of icing, stir in just enough water until icing spreads easily over cookies. For piped details, place icing in a pastry bag with thin tip.