Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Frosting

Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies | Revamperate Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies | RevamperateYou know those cookies at the grocery store with the frosting on top that are super soft and pretty much melt in your mouth when you eat them? Yeah, let’s make those! But better because they’re peppermint. 

These extra soft sugar cookies are spiked with peppermint extract and topped with a fluffy vanilla frosting and chunks of peppermint candy, and they will seriously melt in your mouth with each bite. The secret is the powdered sugar in the cookie. I made these for a cookie swap with some of my coworkers and I think they’ll have to go down in my personal cookie hall of fame as one of my favorites. It’s the peppermint. It tops any other sugar cookie I’ve ever made.

With December ending soon, it means saying goodbye to all of my favorite flavors (NOOOO), so I wanted to squeeze in as many Christmasy recipes as I can before the New Year. I’m sad to say this is my last peppermint/eggnog/gingerbread inspired recipe of the year…so the wheels are already turning for next year. Now, let’s make some peppermint sugar cookies!

Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies | RevamperateIngredients (makes 12-15 cookies):

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract 
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups + 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder

In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the oil and sugars, mixing until smooth. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts, then the eggs, beating well between each addition. Mix in the dry ingredients a little at a time until barely combined. Chill the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Once chilled, remove the dough from the fridge and roll into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place at least 1 inch apart on the lined baking sheet and press with the bottom of a cup to flatten. I did this to ensure they stayed flat but still very thick (not like a cut out cookie) and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Remove promptly from the oven even if they don’t look fully done yet. Do not overbake. If you wait to see brown, they won’t be as soft. Let cool completely before icing. 

Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies | RevamperateFrosting ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • Crushed peppermint candy (topping)

Beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix until fully combined. Then mix in the vanilla extract and spread the frosting onto cooled cookies. 

Unwrap the peppermint candies, move to a ziplock bag and use a cup or rolling pin to crush into small pieces. Sprinkle over the cookies and enjoy! If you leave the cookies uncovered at room temperature for about an hour, you’ll notice that the frosting hardens enough to stack the cookies to properly store in an airtight container. 

Have a merry Christmas, everyone! 

DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub

DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub | Revamperate DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub | RevamperateHow is December going by so quickly?! I can barely keep up. In fact, this entire year has gone by incredibly fast. I’m already preparing New Years ideas and am freaking out that it’s almost 2016 and it’s already almost Christmas. I have so much more I want to do and not enough time to do it all!

Dear Christmas, please stay forever. Don’t get me wrong – I want nothing to do with any kind of shopping center until mid-January, but I still love Christmas. The lights, the flavors, the gifts, the sales, the weather. Even though working in retail took away some of my Christmas spirit, I’ll never stop feeling like a kid during Christmastime. 

One of those amazing Christmas flavors I mentioned is peppermint, so I’m soaking up all the peppermint while I still can! This homemade peppermint sugar scrub is so easy to make, and it’s a really nice Christmas-themed gift that’s not too expensive. Make a big batch, divide it among little containers (hello, Dollar Store!) and finish with a label, and you have really cute gifts for anyone who likes smooth hands…which I’m sure is anyone. Bonus: it’s really easy to make with only a few ingredients.

DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub | Revamperate DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub | RevamperateTime: 5 minutes  

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4-5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1-2 drops red or pink food coloring (optional)

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for several seconds and pour into a bowl. Mix in the sugar, essential oil and food coloring with a fork or spoon until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Move to a container with a lid and dress it up with a tag and some ribbon or a sticker label. 

**Note that using too much food coloring can result in colorful hands when using the scrub.

The ingredients may separate a little after sitting for a while, so mix a little before using for best results. 

DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub | Revamperate

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles | Revamperate Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles | RevamperateAround the holidays, I indulge in all the peppermint I can eat. Mint and chocolate are my absolute favorite combination, so Christmas candy is absolutely amazing. I knew I wanted to make peppermint truffles because truffles are very rich and decadent, and the peppermint adds some sweetness to it, but I balanced it out with dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet. It makes it very rich but not too sweet. Plus, I added a tiny bit of peppermint extract to the chocolate to make the taste really pop. I could eat a hundred of these…luckily, I brought them to our Thanksgiving dinner and they were gone very quickly so I didn’t have to worry about hoarding them for myself!

This recipe is for a very small batch of truffles, but you can easily double or even triple the recipe to make as many truffles as you want. They’re easy enough to make that it’s pretty easy to make a large batch, and you can also get more truffles out of the recipe if you choose to roll smaller balls, but I think 1-inch truffles are pretty standard. Perfectly bite sized. 

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles | RevamperateIngredients (makes 8-10 truffles):

  • 4 oz. dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
  • Crushed peppermint candy

Pour the chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate into a bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan on the stove, heat the heavy cream until sizzling. As soon as it begins to bubble, pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted, and mix in the peppermint and vanilla extracts. Move the bowl to the fridge for about two hours to harden. 

To crush the peppermint, unwrap the candies and place in a plastic ziplock bag. Using a cup or rolling pin, crush the candy into very small pieces and pour into a small bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 

After the chocolate has set, use a spoon to scoop out chocolate and roll into one-inch balls with your hand. Do this somewhat quickly because your hands will warm the chocolate as you roll it. Then roll the balls in the crushed peppermint until completely coated and then place on the baking sheet. Repeat for all the truffles and move to the fridge. 

Serve inside mini cupcake wrappers and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat. Seriously, these are decadent and delicious! Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles | Revamperate

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies | Revamperate Chocolate Peppermint Cookies | Revamperate

I hope you had a very merry Christmas! I know I did. It’s been a while since I was able to spend so much time with my family, and I have to say, I’m so grateful to see them for the holidays. I spent the last five of my Christmas (every year since high school) working at Macy’s, which is probably the least pleasant place to be during Christmas, so I can’t even explain how wonderful it is to be home for the holidays with my parents, my sister, my nieces and my cat. Plus, I got a little spoiled this year, so I’m looking forward to playing with my new KitchenAid attachments and new sewing supplies now that I’m back home.

I know it’s after Christmas, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not over until December is, so I just had to squeeze in a little more peppermint. As I’ve said before, peppermint and chocolate are my all-star combination. I’ll never get enough of it, so it’s goes without saying that I absolutely loved these chocolate peppermint cookies. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but everyone else loved them too, so I’m not even that bias. These chocolate peppermint cookies are made with a dash of peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candy for a very holiday tasting cookie.

Ingredients (for about 14 cookies):

  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy

First, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, baking cocoa) in one bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar. Then beat in the egg, vanilla and peppermint extract. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing as you go until it is well combined. Set aside while you crush the peppermint candy. Unwrap the individual peppermints and move them to a ziplock bag. You can also use a food processor for this, but mine isn’t strong enough to crush candy. Using a rolling pin or other hard object, crush the peppermint candy into fine pieces and mix it into the cookie dough. Then place the dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.Chocolate Peppermint Cookies | Revamperate Chocolate Peppermint Cookies | Revamperate

After the dough has chilled, place one-inch balls on a cookie sheet and bake on 350 degrees for about 8-11 minutes until the edges begin to firm. Because the cookies are chocolate, you won’t be able to see them browning, but the edges will harden slightly, showing that the cookies are ready. Take them out and let them cool on a cooling rack before removing from the sheet. Eat them while they’re warm with a cold glass of milk, and you’ll think you’ve gone to holiday heaven!

Sadly, this will be my last Christmas-related post this year, but it means there’s a whole new year coming later this week. I have no idea what we’re doing for New Years, but there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year. Enjoy!

Peppermint Frosting

Peppermint Frosting | Revamperate Peppermint Frosting | RevamperateI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love peppermint and chocolate. It reminds me of Christmas, so of course, I couldn’t resist making a few peppermint chocolate sweets this month. In fact, I’m sure I will make several more this month to celebrate while I can.

Anyway, I’ll get down to the point. I kept it pretty easy with this peppermint frosting recipe by adding it atop chocolate cupcakes made from box mix. It really is so much easier and a big time saver. Plus, the frosting is the real focal point here. The cake just complements it!Peppermint Frosting | RevamperateTo frost about 14 cupcakes, you need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely crushed peppermint candy
  • 1 drop of pink or red food coloring (optional)

First, mix together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Then add the extracts, beating well before adding one drop of food coloring. The color just brightens it up a bit, so one drop will do.

Frosting tip: always add liquid ingredients after the butter and sugar have been well combined, otherwise your frosting may not achieve the right texture. I’ve made this mistake before and it really does make a difference.

Place a handful of peppermint candies into a plastic bag and use a hard object (I use a rolling pin) to break them into pieces. Then use the rolling pin to crush them as fine as you possibly can. You can also use a food processor if you have a good enough one – mine would break if I tried to crush hard candy.Peppermint Frosting | Revamperate Peppermint Frosting | RevamperateMix in the crushed peppermint, setting aside the larger pieces for topping. Then top chocolate cupcakes with this colored peppermint frosting and garnish with crushed candy for a perfect yet simple holiday cupcake. Enjoy!

Peppermint Bark: Two Ways

Peppermint Bark | RevamperateI’m all about the peppermint, guys. Mint and chocolate are a heavenly combination for me, so I really take advantage of all of the treats this time of year. In honor of my strong bond with peppermint, I made some peppermint bark, but I tried a new way of doing things. See, the easiest way, as you may know, is to spread out the chocolate on a piece of wax paper and break off pieces.

Instead of doing things the easy way this time (still a big advocate of the “easy way”), I tried to use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of the chocolate. It kind of works and kind of doesn’t so here are two different ways you can make shaped peppermint bark as well as two different sets of ingredients you can use. I’m totally bias here – I’ll tell you what I liked best and what worked for me, but figure out what works best for YOU. I still love the look of the shaped ones because they look really pretty as a gift.Peppermint Bark | Revamperate Peppermint Bark | Revamperate The first set of ingredients:

  • Chocolate chips or cocoa candy melts
  • White chocolate chips
  • Peppermint candy

The second set of ingredients:

  • Chocolate chips or cocoa candy melts
  • Peppermint candy melts

As you can see, you can either use peppermint candy melts (the easiest way) or you can use white chocolate and sprinkle it with crushed peppermint (the slightly harder way). Personally, I still prefer using white chocolate and crushing the peppermint topping myself, but the candy melts still do taste great. You can crush the candy by placing unwrapped pieces into a zip-lock bag and using something heavy (I use the end of a rolling pin) to break them into smaller pieces. Then I use a rolling pin to further crush small pieces. Like I said, this just my opinion. They both taste like peppermint bark!

Now, moving on to the different ways to fill the stencil with chocolate. First, lay multiple cookie cutters on a parchment lined baking sheet. Melt the milk or dark chocolate first – melt on defrost mode in 20 second increments until smooth. You can either use a spoon to pour the chocolate into the mold, or you can move the chocolate to a piping bag to distribute it into the mold.

Pros: It’s easier and a little faster to use a spoon, but the piping bag makes it easier to reach corners of the mold.

Cons: Using a piping bag tends to take longer, but using a spoon means you have to use something else (like a knife or toothpick) to move the chocolate into small crevices.

Once the dark chocolate has hardened (which takes longer for chocolate chips than candy melts), you have two more options. You can either leave the the candy in the mold or you can gently remove it. It is difficult to remove the peppermint bark without breaking it, which is why it can help to remove it before you add the next layer.

Pros: The chocolate is much easier to remove when you only have one layer, but leaving it inside the mold keeps the next layer looking significantly cleaner.

Cons: The thicker the bark, the more difficult it is to remove from the mold, but if you remove it early, the peppermint layers won’t look very clean.

Personally, for the aesthetic aspect of it, I preferred to leave it in the mold because it looks much better. If you gift it with it still in the mold, you don’t have to worry about accidentally breaking it.Peppermint Bark | Revamperate Peppermint Bark | Revamperate Next, repeat the process with either the white chocolate or the peppermint candy. Before it dries, sprinkle the crushed peppermint on top of the white chocolate. Then let the chocolate harden. If it is still in the mold, you can use a spoon or piping bag to fill it in. If you’ve removed it from the mold, you would need to use a piping bag to shape the candy as best you can, which is quite difficult to do. I wasn’t pleased with the final look of this technique, but it did keep my bark from breaking.

In summary, I actually think the best choice is to leave the peppermint bark inside of the mold until you are ready to eat it or gift it. After all, it’s pretty heartbreaking when it breaks after you’ve worked so hard to make it look nice. However, if you grease the sides of the cookie cutter with some oil, it can be easier to slip the chocolate out of the mold. I also preferred the white chocolate with crushed peppermint over the candy melts because of the crunch and look – it’s easier to hide imperfections with candy topping.Peppermint Bark | RevamperateNow, get out there and make some beautiful and delicious peppermint bark! Enjoy!