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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peppermint Kisses

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Coming home was like slipping back into an old routine. All the Christmas decorations were in their similar places, my brother still sitting in the brown recliner, the family room rug was still slightly crooked from the dog jumping on top of it, and said dog still followed me around the house. Several days went on and my brother still owned the remote and I still vacuumed dog hair.

But I didn’t mind it at all. It was almost as if the past four months of being away in Texas never existed. Seeing family and friends. Always being asked the same question- “How’s college?”, but never getting sick of answering it. I loved being able to sit on the couch watching Food Network and not having to worry about the Chemistry exam on Wednesday or whether or not I would get over the third cold I’d caught in two months. I easily went back into the routine of taking care of my dog, driving in the snow, and complaining about the cold.

My comfort of being back home got me thinking of whether or not deciding to go to college in Texas was a good idea- if I should have stayed in Michigan all along.

It’s easy to begin missing things you took advantage of for years without a second thought. My Mom’s hugs being one of them, warm and comforting. Strangely I craved Coney Island, such simple food, but nearly non-existent in Texas. Actually, they don’t exist- at least not a good one. The ones in Texas are overly colorful, order at the counter service with strange characters who work there, serving crappy hot dogs that don’t deserve to be called coneys.

I began wondering if I had made the wrong choice to move to Texas. I missed my friends, and seeing my family on every holiday and birthday. I missed my dog keeping my feet warm. Dwelling on the idea made it worse, I began dreading the day I’d have to leave. But I soon then began to realize how nice it was to get away from the same people I had known most of my life, the new people I had met and the experiences one could never get outside of Texas. I began to think into the future of my major and the amazing classes offered at my school and I realized just how excited and happy I was to be at my dream school.

By no means do I want my vacation to go any quicker, but I no longer am completely bummed about going back. While I’m not looking forward to exams and stress, I’m still excited for the little things that occur in college that keep amazing me every day.

The first thing I made when I came home were these cookies. When I saw them I couldn’t get over how cute they were, the little kisses striped in the center just screamed Christmas. However, be warned, the cookie batter in this recipe is extremely thick. When I began mixing in the dry mixture, my very old electric mixture began to slow down in resistance. Urging it along, I began to scrape down the sides in hopes that my helping of mixing it while continuously turning the bowl. (my biggest pet peeve of the mixer, shouldn’t it be able to do that itself?!) I was so into the idea that my already old piece of machinery was slowing down that I accidentally let my spatula slip, only for it to get sucked into the churning beaters. My father just stared at me as I yelled at the electric mixer and watched as it tried to swallow my spatula. Somehow, my spatula survived and my batter mixed together perfectly, cookies came out beautifully and nothing burned.

A good first day back in the kitchen? I think so.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peppermint Kisses
adapted from Our Best Bites

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
48 Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together softened butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar for 1-2 minutes on medium-high speed or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Meanwhile, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, and cocoa powder. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the centers are set but still soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes. Top each cookie with an unwrapped Candy Cane Kiss. Allow to cool completely, long enough for the Kiss to harden. If necessary, after the cookies have cooled, they can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer to re-solidify the Kiss.