sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature and
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
Peppermint candies, for decorating
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat the 2 sticks of butter until creamy.
Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg
yolk and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Beat until well-blended.
Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until moistened and a stiff, crumbly
dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, pat into a disk, wrap
and refrigerate until chilled.
Divide the dough into quarters. On a lightly floured work surface, working with
one piece at a time and keeping the rest refrigerated, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch
thickness. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible
and transfer to baking sheet. You will get more cookies than baking sheets. Put
the cut cookies onto a sheet of parchment.
Bake 2 sheets of cookies in the oven for 10 minutes. Halfway through the baking,
switch the shelves and rotate the pans from front to back to insure even cooking.
When ready, remove the cookies from the oven. Sprinkle half of the cookies with
crushed peppermint candies and return to the oven for a minute. Remove from oven
and slide the parchment onto a cooling rack. Let cookies cool completely. Repeat
with remaining cookies.
For the filling: In a medium bowl, beat the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter
with the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, mint extract
and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling
on the undecorated cookies and top with the decorated cookie.