Peppermint Swirl Cookies
This is a recipe idea in last year's Southern Living Christmas magazine, but of course I changed the recipe! I just happened to be partial to my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe, which I feel is pretty much perfection. I made the cookies, wrapped them like large peppermint candies and gave them in cute packages to friends and family last year. The peppermint icing tastes so good!
The only extra hint I would give is that the recipe calls for red food coloring paste, be sure to use it and not the liquid version or the dough will be too soft. To get that rich red color, it may take a little more food coloring than stated. You can play around until you get the right color. Just be prepared to get caught "red-handed" afterwards. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the bad pun.)
Peppermint Swirl Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy, gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and vanilla, beating until blended, scraping bowl as needed. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll 1 portion of dough into a 12X8 inch rectangle on a piece of lightly floured plastic wrap. Knead food coloring paste into remaining portion of dough while wearing rubber gloves (unless you like red hands ). Roll tinted dough into a rectangle as directed in Step 3. Invert untinted dough onto tinted dough; peel off top piece of plastic wrap. Cut dough in half lengthwise, forming 2 (12 X4 inch) rectangles. Roll up each rectangle, jelly roll fashion, starting at the long side and using bottom piece of plastic wrap as a guide. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours or up to 1 month.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut ends off each dough log and discard. Cut dough into 1/4 inch thick pieces and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 6 to 7 minutes or until puffed and set. Cool cookies for 5 minutes or until completely cool. Place Peppermint Frosting in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe about 2 teaspoons frosting onto bottom half of cookie and top with another to form a sandwich.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (3 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium and gradually add milk and peppermint extract, beating until smooth.