It is no secret that I love cookies. Chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal, butter–I’ll eat any kind of cookie. You can’t go wrong with a classic chewy chocolate chip or a peanut butter with the little fork crosses but you can get those anywhere. The best cookies are those family treasures that seem to only come out and make the rounds at holidays and family events.
I have a few from both sides of my family but Chocolate Peppermint Balls is my clear favorite. They are chewy, chocolaty, fudgey, and totally indulgent–the forbidden child of a brownie and cookie. Perhaps best of all, they are fast, easy, and use a cake mix! Talk about easy! You can make them in a single bowl and, even better, the kids can help form the cookies.
I have no idea where this recipe originated in my Mom’s side of the family. My Mom and her sister often talk about the days before “super moist deluxe” cake mixes when the cookies would be hard to form and crumble before they got to the oven. Thankfully, we live in the future these days and moist cake mixes are easy to find.
The name must come from the forming stage since the finished cookies have zero resemblance to a “ball” of any sort. The pre-baking stage though…well…its an unfortunate color and shape combo.
After baking, these cookies are dredged in powdered sugar with sanding sugar mixed in for festiveness. Since these were often only a holiday thing when I was growing up, the colors were always red and green but I make these all year long so I mix up the colors. Blue is my personal favorite but if you must do another color, I won’t judge you.
Voila. Amazingly chocolaty cookies with a fun peppermint twist. They freeze really well (and are delicious straight from the freezer if you have a chocolate cookie emergency to satisfy). Since they are soft, they also ship well. I put them back to back and wrap the two cookies in cling film. Layer with bubble wrap and ship priority to someone deserving.
Chocolate Peppermint Balls
1 package devils food cake mix (look for one that says something like
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2-4 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar
sugar crystals (optional)
Mix butter, extract and 2 yolks until smooth. Stir in cake mix. If the mix doesn’t come together into a thick frosting like texture, add egg yolks one at a time. It depends on the size of your eggs as well as the brand of cake mix you have. I ended up using 4 yolks and a whole egg. Form into 1 inch balls (your hands work best). Bake 15 minutes at 300 or until just set. Move to a cooling rack and allow to mostly cool.
In a shallow container, combine powdered sugar and crystals (just enough to make them festive). While the cookies are still slightly warm, coat with powdered sugar mix.