Oreo-Stuffed Andes Peppermint Crunch Cookies

 Welcome back to Twelve Days of Cookies! So far, there have been Red Velvet Peppermintdoodles, Eggnog Sandwich Cookies, Whipped Shortbread Snowballs, and Apple Cider Snaps. Today is Day 5 of this cookie marathon, and the holiday spirit is REAL. Also, the holiday rush. Oh my goodness. I have so much work to do before we ring in 2016 that it’s occasionally hard to breathe 😁 But almost all of it is really fun: baking cookies, making scones for friends, doing desserts for two fancy Christmas parties, celebrating Henry’s birthday, Christmas shopping, planning a New Year’s Eve party, and hanging with all my favorite tiny people. I have nothing to complain about, except for the busyness factor. So, here are some cookies that scream holiday cheer from the inside out, are easy to make ahead, huge, and totally delicious–just what I need this time of year. Maybe it’s what you need, too.

These cookies start with a soft sugar cookie dough. It has all the usual suspects, plus a couple of extras to make these extra-super delicious. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. I’ve mentioned before that cornstarch keeps cookies a little softer and chewier, just like it gives cakes a tender crumb when used in cake flour. You could leave it out, but the tiny little bit of it adds so much to the texture. Don’t skip it! On to the leaveners: there are three of them. Yes, three. Baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and acid, so it reacts by itself. However, it’s not as powerful as baking soda, so we need to add a little of that too. And cream of tartar is an acid, so it will react with the baking soda (a base) to give us even puffier cookies. Plus, it helps with a smooth, tender texture by keeping the sugars from being able to re-crystallize after they cool. Science, you guys. It’s what makes our cookies awesome.
  

 Now, on to the wet ingredients. Cream some butter, and then add in both granulated and light brown sugar. The light brown sugar gives the dough a little more moisture and chew, plus complexity from the molasses. Then comes one large egg and one large egg yolk, followed by vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet, fold in some chopped Andes Peppermint Crunch candies, and chill that dough for at least two hours, or up to three days. Take the chilling time and get some of your holiday-ing done. Address your cards, order all your gifts on Amazon Prime, trim the tree. Take that nap that you desperately need. And then come back and break out the Oreos.
 
  
 The only thing better than a cookie is a cookie stuffed with another cookie. Here, we use Double Stuf Oreos. Take your chilled dough out of the fridge. Scoop the dough by the tablespoon, and then flatten each scoop into a disc. Top half of the discs with Double Stuf Oreos, and top the Oreos with a second disc of dough. Then, use your fingers to pinch the edges of the discs toward each other and then smooth the seams a bit. Set the cookies at least three inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake them for 11-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown and no longer wet-looking. I like to top the finished cookies with some additional Andes Peppermint Crunch pieces, but this is purely for aesthetics and totally optional. Let these cookies cool for a few minutes before enjoying.

Oreo-Stuffed Andes Peppermint Crunch Cookies are huge, soft cookies that can’t help but bring a little holiday cheer to your cookie trays this year. With a Double Stuf Oreo center and a chewy cookie shell dotted with creamy peppermint candies, what’s not to love?! These cookies would ship like a dream, and I know the recipients will adore them. Vanilla, peppermint, and Oreos? Tastes like Christmas to me!
 Make sure to check back over the next couple of weeks for seven more holiday cookie recipes!

Oreo-Stuffed Andes Peppermint Crunch Cookies
makes 21 cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
28 Andes Peppermint Crunch candies (one 4.67oz package),* chopped
21 Double Stuf Oreos*

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat butter until it if fluffy and lighter in color. Beat in sugars, followed by egg and yolk, and then vanilla. Add flour in two installments, combining completely. Fold in Andes Peppermint Crunch candies. Cover dough and chill at least two hours, or up to three days.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two sheet pans with parchment.

Scoop dough into tablespoons. Flatten the dough balls into discs. Place Oreos on half of the dough discs, and top with remaining discs. Fold edges in toward each other, enveloping the Oreos. Smooth the seam with your fingers. Repeat with all dough. Bake cookies 9-11 minutes, until they are lightly golden. Let them cool on the pans 5-7 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

These cookies keep well covered at room temperature for up to three days.

Notes:


1. Cream of tartar is mandatory. There is no substitute.
2. Andes also makes Peppermint Crunch baking bits. If you’d like to use those in place of the chopped candies, I suggest 1 cup.
3. I used the Winter variety because I like the red centers. Use whichever variety you like best.

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