Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

So last night I was in a downer of a mood. My challenge to myself lately is to learn how to deal with those moods in a constructive manner. Easier said than done, of course, but baking usually works! Especially when I bake something intended to give away to someone. Its the best of both worlds – I get to have fun baking and eat one or two sweet treats, but then I get to give the rest away and avoid having a delicious temptation sit on the counter.

Then I thought, I haven’t been over to my neighbor’s in a while, I should bake something for her! We live next door to our landlord’s parents, very lovely, retirement-age people. They have somewhat adopted J and I, and love to good-naturedly worry over us and check in on us. Often I’ll bake something and walk it over to their house on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and spend an hour or two in her cozy kitchen, drinking coffee and indulging in my latest baked good.

The other advantage of baking for someone other than J is that I can make stuff that he doesn’t like (not that there are too many things in that category). Peppermint is a flavor that I am absolutely crazy over, and J doesn’t care for. I also happened to have almost a whole box of leftover candy canes that didn’t get eaten off the Christmas tree this year. So, Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies it was!

I can’t take credit for this recipe – I found it on Pinterest, and the original recipe is over at A Pumpkin and a Princess:

The only change I made was that instead of pressing the candy cane pieces into the top of the cookies, I put them directly into the dough. I thought the candy inside the cookie would be fun, and the candy pieces ended up taking on a delightful chewy texture. I was extremely pleased with them – hopefully my neighbor will like them too!

On a related note, apparently I need to do some googling on food photography. How do all you wonderful food bloggers make your stuff look so pretty?! Do you have special food staging areas? Special lighting? Probably something better to take a picture with than an iPhone. But I could barely keep The Senor off the counter long enough to take a picture of my cookies – he’s very investigative, and apparently really likes the smell of peppermint.

Tomorrow I start my last semester of law school, so I suppose that for the rest of the day I should do all the homework I need to do in preparation for tomorrow, instead of continuing to cook and bake. But then again, I’m planning on putting chicken fajitas in the crockpot …….