Hi, friends! Today I have made you some chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies! They're gluten-free, rich and fudgy, just pepperminty enough, and filled with tiny pieces of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark. Let's talk a bit about how I made them and then get on with the recipe.I looked at about a dozen chocolate crinkle cookie recipes online. I wasn't concerned about the peppermint portion since all I needed for that was peppermint oil and my inspiration in the first place: the bars of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark I bought at the store the other day. I knew I wanted to use those guys--I bought two of the dark chocolate kind--in a cookie, and I've been seeing crinkle cookies around. Kismet!
Many of the recipes called for a fair bit of flour--some up to 2 cups--and I didn't want any part of those. I wanted deeply fudgy cookies, and 2 cups of flour doesn't make that happen. Many were based almost solely on cocoa powder. There's nothing wrong with that--cocoa powder often packs more chocolate flavor that actual chocolate, but unless you use a boatload of fat, and a lot less than 2 cups of flour, cocoa powder cookies tend to be a bit dry.
Then I thought I'd go the gluten-free route, hoping to find a cookie based on almond flour since I'd bought a bag of really finely milled almond flour from Bob's Red Mill at the grocery store. Alas, stymied again. Many of the gluten-free versions I saw were made with pre-mixed gluten-free blends or a mix of almond flours and other flours. Again, that's totally fine, but I wanted to use all almond flour.
And then, I remembered Gesine.
Gesine Bullock-Prado, awesome pastry chef, cookbook author, Craftsy culinary instructor, blogger at G Bakes!, and all around good egg (I bet she is, anyway), and also Sandra Bullock's sister. Sandy can act and seems lovely, but I doubt she can slay pastry the way her sister can. Plus, she has cats, so there's that. By the way, if you don't follow her, you should. She's on facebook, twitter, instagram, and YouTube.
At any rate, my friend Sandy (not Sandra Bullock) has done some recipe testing for Gesine, and last year she sent me a cello baggie of the best, fudgiest little gluten-free chocolate cookies from Gesine's book. They're called Starry, Starry Nights, and they are incredibly delicious. Those cookies became the inspiration for my Heavenly Chocolate Pecan Dream Cookies, so I knew it would be a recipe fairly easy to adapt to my chocolate-peppermint crackly purposes. I made almost no changes to her original formula for Starry Starry Nights. All I did was to introduce peppermint oil and the chopped peppermint bark bars. I also made them with a (affiliate link) standard cookie scoop (she uses a melon baller sized scoop) and rolled them in powdered sugar--two coats--rather than granulated sugar to get the crackle effect.