You can buy peppermint candy bits at most craft stores and dollar stores around the holidays, but if you can’t find them, simply get some of the traditional red and white “star mint” style peppermints and crush them yourself. Give the chocolate just a moment to start to set once you’ve dipped the cookies; this helps the crushed candies adhere better without sliding off once you’ve placed the cookies on your cooling sheet.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ounce (about 1/3 cup) Dutch-process cocoa
- 7 1/4 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) flour
- 8 ounces chocolate candy coating
- About 3/4 cup crushed peppermint candies
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla, then beat in cocoa powder and flour.
Divide dough into two 12-ounce portions and press each portion into the bottom of the cake pans, using the palm of your hand to flatten the dough as evenly as possible.
Bake for 32-35 minutes, until it appears done around the edges. Remove from oven and loosen the sides with a knife, then cool in pans for 5 minutes.
Carefully turn one shortbread round out onto a cutting board and cut into 16 wedges; place wedges on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the second round.
Once cookies are cool, place crushed peppermints on a plate or in a shallow dish. Melt your chocolate coating in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring until smooth.
Working quickly, dip the wide edge of each wedge into the chocolate and gently shake off the excess; hold over the pan for about 20 seconds just to let the chocolate begin to set, then dip in crushed peppermints.
Place on waxed paper or parchment and allow to set completely before storing.
Note: shortbread will break if you try to cut it once it’s cool, so you must cut the rounds into wedges while they’re still warm.