In fact, I’m so curious about them that I have taken to asking randos at cocktail parties for specifics about things like Christmas morning activities, Hanukkah presents (how many do they actually get?!), family dress codes, and New Year’s kisses. While some peeps are slightly taken aback by what can only be called a “tradition inquisition,” most are happy to share their holiday habits, especially after a few festive cocktails. It’s my favorite.
Needless to say, I’m partial to learning about people’s food traditions, specifically on the cookie front. I didn’t grow up making Christmas cookies (“Santa is obsessed with Mallomars!”-my parents), so I love me some holiday baking inspiration. Bonus points if it’s attached to a good story.
I’m probably a little biased, but one of the best Christmas cookie traditions I’ve come across actually belongs to my roommate’s family…
Each year, the Unlands and their friends the Andersons get together to make “dirty Christmas cookies.” The first time Logan casually mentioned these cookies, I was confused and asked him to explain himself. Looking at me like I was some sort of crazy lady, he practically shrieked, “You’ve never made dirty Christmas cookies??!!!” Then he pulled up a picture on his phone.
It was the most awesome and deeply disturbing tray of sugar cookies I’d ever seen. Honestly, the cookies were so inappropriate that I feel uncomfortable describing them to you (can you say “vagina” on a food blog?), so I’m just going to let your imaginations run wild here.
Whatever you’re currently picturing, go dirtier. Much, much dirtier.
You’ll be pleased to know that I had the pleasure of experiencing the Unlands’ dirty Christmas cookies up close and personal last December, and it was hilariously absurd. Eating a penis-shaped cookie in front of your boyfriend’s parents with a straight face is not an easy task.
Sidenote: Someone in the group got particularly naughty last Christmas and sneakily sprinkled some ganja on the nether region of their baked masterpiece. Logan accidentally ate said cookie before bed several days later, but that is a story for another time. (His reaction when he woke me up in the middle of the night reminds me of this.)
I thought about enlisting Logan’s decorating skills and posting dirty Christmas cookies today, but I know some of you read this blog at your desk, and I didn’t want to cause any issues with NSFW photos. Instead, I made these White Chocolate Peppermint “Brookies,” which I’m pretty pumped about. I’m hoping you are too.
Looking back through the Domesticate ME! archives, I realized that I actually do have a little bit of a holiday tradition on this site. Every year around this time, I’ve posted some sort of peppermint bark-themed delight. It started with Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats, followed by Peppermint Chocolate Chip Blondie Bites, and now we’ve got Peppermint Brookies. Say it with me: HALLELUJAH!
These “brookies” are a brownie/cookie hybrid that contains the most magical parts of both baked goods. Each one is crisp and slightly chewy with a gloriously fudgy middle and a perfect crackly top. And while I think plain brookies would be heavenly, the addition of white chocolate chips and cool, crunchy peppermint really elevates them to “Christmas miracle” status. Please get involved as soon as humanly possible.
As White Chocolate Peppermint Brookies are quite the showstopper, I highly recommend whipping up a couple batches for last-minute food presents, holiday extravaganzas, work parties and cookie exchanges. You may also want to keep some in your purse, eat them in your Christmas pajamas, and freeze a few for the post-holiday comedown. Parents, you should probably make these for “Santa” too.
Just a quick note regarding the brookie dough, which is based on this Food and Wine recipe. The original recipe instructs you to freeze the dough for 1 hour, but I found that it makes the brookies a little too dense. After some experimentation, I think 20 minutes in the freezer is the sweet spot. The dough will actually be more like a thick batter, and though it’s a little messy to work with (don’t panic, just use your fingers to mold the mounds into a circular shape on the baking sheet), the finished brookies are perfection.
9 days until Christmas, friends! I made you a card.
Peppermint White Chocolate Brownie Cookies: (Makes 16 cookies)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy (That’s about 4 standard candy canes, FYI, but you can also use the round peppermints.)
Preparing your Peppermint White Chocolate Brownie Cookies:
-In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring periodically, until it’s nice and smooth. This should take about 5 minutes, tops. (If you don’t have a heat-safe bowl, you can always use a smaller pot. I did.) Remove from the heat and briefly set aside.
-Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up slightly. (Please set an alarm, peeps! If you leave it in there for more than 20-25 minutes, it will change the texture of the brookies.)
-Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and briefly set aside. (Don’t have 2 baking sheets? Relax. You can cook these bad boys in two batches.)
-Spoon 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. If you have a small ice cream/cookie scoop, use it! If they’re super messy, use your fingers to round the mounds a little bit, so that they bake into nice round cookies. (I’m VERY sorry that I forgot to take a picture of this step. Please forgive me.) Bake for about 12 minutes until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top.
Ingredients Instructions Notes These brownie cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.
These brownie cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.