Category Archives: Recipes

Peppermint Cookies (aka Christmas Delight)

PTS | Peppermint Cookies

A few years ago during one of my pregnancy-induced cooking obsessions, I made dozens and dozens (and dozens) of various Christmas cookies. I even made my sister frozen cookie dough plates with about 20 dozen cookies of all varieties. It got a little out of hand.

Of all the cookies I made that year, though, these are by far our favorite. My husband took one bite and said, “It tastes like Christmas delight in my mouth!” The kids love them because they taste good. I love them because they are so stinkin’ pretty.

I actually combined a few recipes, with the original inspiration being a sweet friend who brought similar cookies to a cookie exchange. I used a different chocolate cookie recipe and then added a few steps of my own (to make it all pretty!) The end result is two soft cookies with light crispy outsides, sandwiched together with oh-so-creamy peppermint frosting. White chocolate (or powdered sugar icing) drizzled over the top and sprinkled with crushed peppermint finishes them off.

PTS | Peppermint Cookies 2

Peppermint Cookies

Yield: 20

filled cookies

Peppermint Cookies


  • 1 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • White chocolate bark OR powdered sugar icing


  1. Cream butter and sugar on medium until fluffy (aprox 1 minute).
  2. Add eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Mix in vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
  5. Add mixture slowly to the butter/sugar mix.
  6. Beat until combined.
  7. Drop spoonfuls (I prefer to use a cookie scoop to ensure same sized cookies) on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. (I like to remove them when edges look crisp but centers still look slightly moist.)
  8. Remove cookie sheets and let the cookies stay on the sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack or paper towels.
  9. Let the cookies cool completely. While cooling, make your filling.
  11. In a large bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
  12. Add 2 vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  13. Beat in 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
  14. Beat in the 2 Tbsp of milk.
  15. Beat in remaining powdered sugar until smooth.
  17. Once the cookies are cool and your filling is made, take two cookies and place filling between them, being careful not to bed or break the cookie (I fill a pastry bag with the filling and then quickly pipe the filling on an upside down cookie) Repeat for remaining cookies.
  18. Place all the filled cookies on a cookie sheet (line with wax paper if using white chocolate for glaze). Melt chocolate according to package instructions. Fill a pastry bag or zipper bag with chocolate or icing and snip a small opening.
  19. Quickly drizzle over the cookies, adding crushed peppermints before chocolate/icing hardens.

©janetphillips_december22_2015_web-9 ©janetphillips_december22_2015_web-12©janetphillips_december22_2015_web-14 copy

If you find yourself with some extra time and a craving for peppermint, I can’t recommend these cookies enough. And although they contain more sugar in one cookie than I normally consume in an entire week, the indulgence was 100% worth it. One warning: if there are leftovers, the kids (and husband) just might ask for them for breakfast. You can say no if you have cinnamon rolls in the oven like I do.


Happy Anzac Day (with a recipe!)

The yummy cookies are the perfect match for an afternoon cup of coffee!

The yummy cookies are the perfect match for an afternoon cup of coffee!


A few weeks ago a friend of mine was at my house and we were talking about food (one of my favorite topics!) She told me that I should start posting recipes for some of the things that I make. I always think about it, and then never do. But in honor of my British friend who grew up in India, is married to an Australian, and now lives in Indonesia, I’m posting a recipe. Today is Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, a day similar to our Memorial Day. ANZAC stands for  Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. So Debs, this is for you!

I had my first Anzac biscuits when we were living in India. We served in a British school that had staff from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America, and more. I loved the truly international feel to everything we did. I also learned that Americans, the British, and Australians are separated by a common language!

Let’s start with the word biscuit. It means cookie. I remember trying to explain to my British friends what a biscuit is and even made a few batches for them. “Oh, they’re like scones!”

Nevertheless, these biscuits cookies are some of my favorite. I love oats and I love coconut, so it was pretty much love at first bite.



10 minutes

10 minutes

20 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen cookies



  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 4 Tbsp honey*
  • 1 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp water


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Add flour, oats, sugar, and coconut into large bowl and stir to combine.
  3. In a small saucepan add butter and honey* and stir over low heat until butter is completely melted.
  4. Mix baking soda and water together in a small bowl.
  5. Remove butter mixture from heat and immediately add baking soda & water combo (it will cause the mixture to bubble).
  6. Pour into the dry mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Roll the mixture into one inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Press down slightly.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Like with all cookies, it is best to leave them on the cookie sheet for about two minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.


*The original Anzac biscuit recipe calls for golden syrup, an ingredient most Americans are not familiar with. I made two batches, one with golden syrup and one with honey and both worked great.

Spiced Vanilla Chai

I mentioned on Facebook last week that my afternoon cup of chai is one of my favorite parts of my day.  Especially during the cool months of winter, a cup of hot chai just hits the spot!

I was first exposed to chai when I lived in India. The word chai is usually used to describe a spiced tea mix and is the drink of choice in India.  One of our favorite memories of living in India is riding on the trains and waiting for the chai man to come into the train yelling, “Chai! Chai! Chai!”  He would have a huge urn of hot masala chai and a collection of terra-cotta like cups that for 5 rupees (about 10 cents at the time) he would serve you.  When you were done with your cup of deliciousness, you could throw your little pottery cup out the window and watch it break along the railroad tracks. So fun and much better than the paper and plastic also littering the tracks!

Living in the States, chai wasn’t something that I got to enjoy very much.  I have seen it for sale in the store but I have never found one that tasted good. Starbucks — a real treat for our family — was really my only option when it came to finding a good tasting cup of hot and spicy chai.  Well, until a few months ago.  A friend of mine mentioned that she was making chai and so I decided to give it a go.  I searched around online for a recipe that would be similar the creamy, perfectly-spiced variety I love. I found a number of them and after trying and tweaking, I have found a recipe that I love. It’s easy, makes a huge batch, and is the perfect blend of cream and spice. I introduced one of our neighbors to chai last week and his comment was, “This drink just changed my life.”  I can’t promise a life changing experience, but I can say that I am in love. It’s the perfect companion for sitting and chatting, baking, or any other time you crave a hot drink. Enjoy!

Enjoying a cup of chai as I bake



1 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer

1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer

2 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or large blender (I use my Ninja).  Blend into a fine powder.  Store in an airtight container.

2. To make a cup of chai, add two or three tablespoons of mix (to taste) to 8 ounces of hot water or milk (I like the creaminess of milk!


It’s that easy!  I love that this recipe makes a LOT of mix (about six cups).  I have a cup most days and mine lasted me over a month. I’ve just made another batch and am ready for my afternoon cup of chai.



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