Category Archives: Chocolate

Pretzel Lovin’, Havin’ a Blast


I like pretzels.

I’m still living. Uber busy, but living. Attending class for 6 hours a day for four weeks to knock off 10 hours of college credits is a lot of work.

But it’s all worth it. Kind of like biting into a wonderfully salty and deeelish pretzel. I love pretzels. I’m obsessed. I bought a 1 pound bag of pretzels every week for six weeks in my first quarter of school, and yet Freshman 15 didn’t touch me. I’m not going to question this. I’m going to gloat.

So I got to thinking, “Sweet and salty, sweet and salty.” and thought, why not put them into my chocolate chip cookies! Seemed simple enough, it was, and boy howdy, it was lovely.

All I did was substitute half of the chocolate chips for broken pretzel pieces and continued on in hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Model.

What? Oh, sorry. Different topic…

I baked them according to the same parameters.

A pretzel is like a little heart, showin’ some lovin’. Enjoy these!

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Follow the same recipe and instructions listed in This Post, substituting 1 cup crushed pretzel pieces for the chocolate chips. Flatten slightly and top with a whole pretzel prior to baking.

Happy Baking!
Clara

Chocolate is Temperamental


Let’s consider chocolate here. Yes, it may be a simple food. Yes it tastes delicious (don’t get me started). Yes…I’m getting started.

Chocolate is a byproduct of the cacao tree. Or, excuse me, the cacao pod, and then the cacao bean. When put in the most basic terms, it is a complex collection of solids and fats, and all of the sweetness that we know of is completely added by people for human consumption.

Dark chocolate is my favorite. Or, to be exact, a cocoa percentage of 60-70 percent is my favorite range. What does this mean? The higher percentage is basically a higher amount of chocolate liquor, which is a byproduct of processing the bean. Chocolate liquor (cocoa solids and cocoa butter combined) is the LIQUIFIED form of the mashed up cocao beans after they have been processed to cocoa. Now, 100% is mind-numbingly bitter, however, it is good for chocolate melted into baked goods. Like using unsalted butter in baking (for sodium control), unsweetened chocolate allows for a greater control of the amount of sweetness that your final product will contain.

Dark chocolate is anything above 50% cocao with little to no milk added, and sugar
Milk chocolate is always up to 50% cocao, with milk and sugar added
White chocolate is typically 35% cocao, with milk, sugar, and cocoa butter. The difference here is that there are NO cocoa solids in white chocolate, just the butter. So, in actuality, white chocolate isn’t really chocolate.

Melting chocolate seems like a simple process, but here’s the thing, it really isn’t. Here’s my temperature chart:

81-92 (or even 93) degrees fahrenheit is where you need to keep the chocolate in order to ‘temper’ it. Tempering is when all of the small crystals that make up the structure of chocolate are broken down into itty bitty teeny tiny pieces, so that they can be aligned and stacked up into a nice, sturdy final structure when cooled down. When you heat chocolate too cool, the crystals simply haven’t gotten the chance to break up. The resulting chocolate will be soft and “gooshy”, you know…goopy and squishy, when you bite into it. It will also be dull, not shiny. When you bring it up to 89-93 degrees and HOLD IT THERE while you form and play with different shapes, it should and will get a nice classic chocolate bar type finish. Shiny, snappy, and not as melty. You are in danger of scorching the chocolate when you get to a higher temperature. With dark chocolate, you have a higher range of temperatures before you burn it. With milk, its a bit lower than that. With white chocolate…well, I usually burn it, if that answers your question. That leads to a gritty texture and burned taste. But you already knew that.

When I temper chocolate, I like to microwave it. I know this is unorthodox, and gives you less control over the temperature. However, when chocolatiers temper chocolate, they melt the chocolate to around 121 degrees and either spoon some out onto a marble slab and fold it, spread it, etc, then put it back with the melted chocolate in order to cool it (over and over again) down into that temperature range. Another method they use is they melt SOME of the chocolate to 121 degrees, then add the solid chocolate to the melted, and stir to incorporate, and that usually gives some good solid crystals as well. I kind of play with the latter method.

I like to take about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips (preferably 60-70%) and microwave it for about a minute to a minute and a half. Usually, at this point, the chocolate is melty, and when I stir it, a lot of the chips are still solid. This is good. I don’t put it back in the microwave, but I continue to stir it until the chocolate chips are melted. This results in the right consistency for tempered chocolate. In MY experience (I’m only saying this, because even when I traditionally tempered the chocolate, it was this way), the tempered chocolate isn’t that liquid. Its actually a bit thicker than you would think it to be. Its a little bit hard to work with, as it isn’t as easily pourable as, say, candy melts. If you add any sort of oil to the chocolate, it could mess with the composition and final product. If you want a shiny bar, just temper it correctly, it will end up that way. You don’t need oil.

I made the caramel today that I made in the post before. I thought it would be fun to wrap them up like the classic caramels, despite the redundant factor of cutting out parchment squares, wrapping them up, etc.

But that was when I got the IDEA to once again, try my hand at tempering chocolate! Caramel truffles are my favorites!

But it got redundant too. That’s waht I get for cutting out 106 individual squares of soft caramels. But either way, dipping in chocolate is still fun!

Just tap the fork over and over again, gently, the excess comes off easily.

Another secret I learned is to NOT put the chocolate in the fridge! Refrigerator air is very wet, and it can stick to the chocolate, creating condensation, which doesn’t help the final product. Be patient, it takes about an hour or so for the chocolate to correctly set up.

Give tempering a go! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Happy Baking!
Clara

Millionaire Bars


I had heard about Millionaire Bars once before. I was watching a show on Food Network, and one of the chefs made the treat because she went on a trip to Scotland or Ireland, and those were the most popular thing that they had at one bakery there.

I don’t know exactly who or when it was, but she made a weird statement saying that she reserved one suitcase for them for the flight back. Interesting. But either way, these have stayed in my head ever since then. I’ve always wanted to make them! It gives me a chance to make three of my favorite things: Shortbread, Caramel, and Chocolate Ganache.

First, just make the shortbread by combining a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, and 1 stick of unsalted butter (cold). Cutting it up with the pastry cutter until it looks crumbly.

Then cut in about 2-3 tablespoons of milk, or until the dough forms a crumbly ball. Then you just pat it out onto a 9″x9″ square baking pan lined with some parchment paper, then dock the dough with a fork! Then bake it for about 20 minutes, or until its golden on the edges and slightly firm in the center.

Let it cool completely while you work on your caramel!

Don’t post pictures of making the caramel. Its against my religion.

Just kidding, I forgot to.

But make it…and pour it on top.

I sprinkled some sea salt on top to give it that extra bite of saltiness to offset the sweetness of the caramel. Makes for a neat picture!

I waited for about an hour before I made the ganache. I stuck the caramel and shortbread in the freezer so it would firm up a bit. Soften the chocolate a bit in the microwave, just to help it along. No stirring required while you work on your cream.

Its an ocean of cream! Let’s get a boat! I’M ON A BOAT.

No I’m not.

Let it sit for about two minutes, then whisk or stir with a fork until the ganache becomes smooth and combined. Add vanilla and espresso powder to the concoction…

Then pour it on top of the caramel. After this, just let it set for a few hours in the fridge and cut up the bars at the end of it all!

And there you have it! Now you can feel affluent with these millionaire bars! Give em a go!

Millionaire Bars
Ingredients
FOR THE SHORTBREAD
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1/2 C. All-Purpose Flour
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, cold, cut into cubes
2-3 scant T. Milk
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

FOR THE CARAMEL
From Land O’ Lakes: Aunt Emily’s Soft Caramels CLICK HERE
1 C. Granualted Sugar
1/2 C. Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Unsalted Butter
1/2 C. Milk
1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 C. Light Corn Syrup
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

FOR THE GANACHE
1 C. 70% Cacao Chocolate Chips
1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 C. Milk
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extact
1/4 tsp. Espresso Powder

Method
MAKE SHORTBREAD – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9″x9″ baking pan with nonstick spray and parchment paper.
1. Using a pastry cutter, cut cubes of butter with powdered sugar, salt, and flour. Combine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Cut in scant tablespoons of milk and extracts, or until the mixture can be formed into a loose ball.
2. Press mixture into prepared pan, making the layer even as possible. Use a fork to pierce small holes over the entire surface of the dough.
3. Bake until edges are golden and the center is lightly firm, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

MAKE CARAMEL –
1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil (15 to 20 minutes). (Once the mixture comes to a boil, whisk consistently, as the fat tries to separate, and it has a higher chance of burning! I’m speaking from experience)

Continue cooking, until candy thermometer reaches 244°F. or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball (about 25 to 30 minutes).

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

->Pour caramel over cooled shortbread and top with sea salt. Allow to cool in freezer for about an hour before continuing.

MAKE GANACHE-
1. In a large bowl, pour in chocolate chips and soften in the microwave for about a minute. Don’t stir.
2. Combine cream and milk in a measuring cup, heat until lightly scalding in the microwave. Don’t let the cream burn! About 2 minutes.
3. Pour cream over chocolate and allow to sit for a few minutes before stirring. Whisk or stir with a fork until smooth. Pour in vanilla and espresso powder, whisk until smooth.
4. Pour over caramel. Allow to set in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before cutting.

Enjoy!

Happy Baking!
Clara

Pumpkin Surprise Cheesecake – Say Thank You!


I will have you know that pumpkin is a controversial subject. Not everyone likes pumpkin pie, and i can respect that, I didn’t start liking it until a vew years ago, when I got past the texture and got to the flavor. I have had pumpkin pies in the past and, though I love them so, I just cannot stand the texture. Custard isn’t my favorite in terms of palate pleasure, it’s too eggy to me, eggy and strange. My problem is that I love flan, creme brulee, pumpkin and sweet potato pie and whatnot, but they all have that eggy-custardy texture. I’m honestly not a fan. When I think pumpkin, I think smooth, and if I had a choice, pumpkin cheesecake should be on the Thanksgiving table everywhere in the United States!

But you know, that’s just me. There are all sorts of opinions in the world, and mine is to embrace the wonderful world of pumpkin, ginger, spice, chocolate, and cheesecake all in one texture and experience. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Let’s give this a go, I had been planning to give this a go ever since the few weeks before coming home from school, the lack of a community kitchen only fueled the fire in this area.

Here, I used those gingersnaps that I made earlier that day to make a rather delightful crust. I love gingersnaps…

Have I already told you that?

I think so.

And then, of COURSE, the cream cheese. Isn’t it delightful? Big bricks of love.

I should be a spokesperson. Paula Deen was! Why can’t I?

Eggs, sugar, the ‘uge, you know, everything that makes cheesecake so wonderful.

Except here’s the difference, I took two cups of the batter out to the side before i mixed in the pumpkin and spices in, and added in cooled, melted chocolate to the mix. Finished the pumpkin portion then actually put a layer of pumpkin on the bottom of the pan, then added in all of the chocolate in an even layer, then topped off with the rest of the pumpkin. What was neat was that the on the baked cheesecake, the crust actually covered the chocolate layer, so its a surprise!

Bake with a waterbath! The most important aspect of it all! Don’t be discouraged if you find a crack or two. It happens! For me, it happened along the sides of the baked cheesecake if you look on the top. That’s why, in New York, you always see cheesecakes with the pie filling pooled on top! I betcha they are hiding cracks! Gotcha there!

Surprise! Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake! A sight to behold! But wait! There’s more!

There ya go! Hee hee, no cheesecake is complete wihout whipped cream!

So if you’re wanting to try something new this year on the Thanksgiving table, give this a go! You won’t be disappointed!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake
Ingredients
8 oz. Gingersnaps, pulsed into fine crumbs
2 oz. Unsalted Butter, melted
1 tsp. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt

4 8 oz blocks Cream Cheese
1 1/2 c. Granulated Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
3 T. All Purpose Flour

For the Pumpkin Layers:
1 c. Pumpkin Puree
1/2 tsp. Grated Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

For the Chocolate Layer
6 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
1 T. Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

Method
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a cookie sheet in the oven and fill halfway with water, prep a springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and wrap the outside in foil, set aside.
1. Place gingersnap crumbs in a bowl and stir in salt, brown sugar, and grated ginger until combined. Slowly add in butter while stirring until you get moist crumbs, but not saturated. Press crumbs into the springform pan, all along the bottom and walls (halfway is fine). Place pan in the refrigerator to firm up.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix blocks of cream cheese until smooth. Add in vanilla, salt, flour and sugar until smooth, and add in eggs, one at a time, until completely combined.
3. Take two cups out of the batter and place into a separate bowl, stir in melted chocolate and cocoa powder until incorporated, set aside.
4. Add pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves to the original batter and stir to combine.
5. Take the springform pan and pour in half of the pumpkin batter in an even layer on the bottom. Evenly spread the chocolate layer on top of the pumpkin layer, gently pushing it to the edges of the crust, top with remaining pumpkin batter and be sure to completely cover the chocolate.
6. Place foil-wrapped springform pan into the cookie sheet filled with water into the preheated oven. Bake at 450 for 12 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and allow to bake for another hour, or until slightly jiggly in the center and the edges are firm. If the cheesecake is still quite jiggly, bake in 30 minute increments, do not take the cheesecake when it is very jiggly, it won’t firm up.
7. Allow to cool to room temperature for two hours, then chill overnight until ready to serve. Top with whipped cream, enjoy!

Happy Baking! Happy Thanksgiving!
Clara

Seven.


Seven.
Seven days left until I voyage to my new school. Seven days until I grow up. Seven minutes.

Until you press the [X] button.

Seven seconds until I change the subject. Seven milliseconds until I tell you about a new recipe that I have probably looked at and considered making seven times before. Seven ingredients.

And now I can’t think of anything to associate with the number seven.

Seven.

Today, I made Pioneer Woman’s Spread Cookies. Basically, its a chocolate chip cookie dough without the chocolate chips IN the dough, but rather, on top of the dough. Its an interesting concept, but I had to change things up a little bit, just because I didn’t have a certain key ingredient.

She calls for margarine, but I don’t typically have margarine, so I used butter. The only difference that this made was the dough was actually a bit more dense than usual, so I used a bit of milk to thin it out a bit. Which was nice, it actually gave the cookie a creamy taste.

Basically, the completed dough is spread on a sheetpan, baked until golden.

Sprinkled with chocolate chips while still hot, and allowed to sit until the chips get shiny and melty. Then they are spread around the ginormous cookie :). I won’t type for a moment, I’ll let you absorb all of this.



This is so much fun! But then again, I find a lot of things associated to baking fun. I giggle incessantly when I bake a cake. I leap with joy when I pull off a perfect pie crust. I run into the other room every five minutes saying “Mommy! Daddy! Look what I did! I made these really super interesting COOKIES!” Okay no I don’t.

That’s a lie, yes I do. This is my blog, I’m supposed to be confessing here.

But, anyway, make these today! I thought that they were going to taste just like any other cookie dough, but they really were special.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow, its football day tomorrow! Boomer sooner!!

Spreads
Ingredients
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Margarine (I subbed with Unsalted butter, and added about 1/4 C. milk, just to soften the mixture more)
1 whole Egg
2 cups Flour
½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
6 ounces, weight ( To 8 Ounces) Chocolate Chips

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together brown sugar and margarine. Add egg and mix together. Add flour, salt, and vanilla, and mix together well.
Spread dough onto cookie sheet to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly brown. At this point, pull out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove and spread melted chips over the top. Cut into squares.

Happy Baking!
Clara

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake


I am in Albuquerque at the moment, my last little ‘vacation’ before I jet off to Savannah in a few weeks. I don’t start until the 13th, gaah. At that point, everyone will be a month into college! Haha. It’s hard to think that my friends are all separated out. Bob is in NYC (jealousy…), Jake is in Boston (jealousy…again..)…I just can’t believe it! Thanks to the world of Skype!

Catherine (my eldest sister) and I are very conscious about our weight, since we both have lost a lot in the past few years, we like to try and figure out substitutes to our favorite things that are low calorie, low fat, yet full flavored. Catherine’s favorite thing is the chocolate mousse cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory. We have been planning to find out a healthier (and still decadent!) substitute to the 17 Weight Watcher point slice (she is on weight watchers, it works! She’s so LITTLE now!). And here we have it! All it takes is a couple things to make a difference.

By taking the concept of the last cheesecake I made and figuring out how I could make everything come together in a ‘lighter’ manner without substituting richness, I, well, we (she made the mousse) managed to make a cheesecake that was substantially less (probably seven points a slice).

Oh, and it was REALLY good.

We went ahead and made a full fat mousse, using about half of it on the cheesecake, since it was easier. But that’s okay! Do what you want to do with it! The sky’s the limit!

The only thing that is very important here, though, is the use of a water bath. Without it, then the cheesecake will REALLY crack and be…um…not too pretty. Sure, you cover it with mousse, but you will still know its there.

You will…

So what are you waiting for?? Give it a go!

Lighter Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
Ingredients
FOR THE CRUST
2 C. Chocolate Teddy Grahams ground into fine crumbs (should amount to 1 1/4 C.)
3/4 C. Melted Unsalted Butter
1/2 C. Granulated Sugar

FOR THE MOUSSE
1 Half Recipe Chocolate Mousse

FOR THE CHEESECAKE
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, melted and cooled
2 Blocks Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 Block Low Fat Cream Cheese
1 1/2 T. All Purpose Flour
1 Large Egg
2 Egg Yolks
3/4 C. Plus 2 T. Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Salt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and fill a large roasting pan with water, set inside oven.
2. Stir the melted butter in with the ground chocolate teddy grahams and sugar, the crumbs should be lightly moist and crumbly, but still hold together when pressed. Add butter a little bit at a time to make sure. Spray a 9″ springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour the mixture into the pan. Using a flat-bottomed glass, gently press the crumbs against the bottom and up the wall of the pan. Place pan into the refrigerator so that the crust can firm up.
3. Prepare cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and flour until combined. Scrape bowl as needed. Mix in sugar, salt, as well as the eggs, one at a time. Mix until combined. Pour melted chocolate into the mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
4. Pour mixture into the chilled crust and smooth the top as best as possible. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil and place into the roasting pan filled with water. Bake until the cheesecake has puffed slightly, slightly firm, and the center is slightly wobbly. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely at room temperature, then cool in the refrigerator from 4 hours to overnight.
5. Prepare chocolate mousse as the recipe instructs, then pour on top of completely cooled cheesecake, then spread around the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours so that the mousse can firm up. Slice and serve.

Happy Baking!
Clara

I Wasn’t A Girl Scout…


A confession, needless to say. I know quite a few girl scouts, and it sounded like it was a lot of fun. But, I will say that those cookies that they sold made up for it.

Right?

Anyway, yum to Samoas and yum to Thin Mints. Thin Mints were my absolute favorite girl scout cookies, still are. But you know, girl scout season only occurs for a short time every year, and that means for the rest of the year, we are without the magic that is in those little boxes that are soooooo pricey. Here we go. You know what this means?

Its time to make them ourselves… You heard me. This way, we are all girl scouts, without the mosquito bites from our camping trips.

The dough is relatively straight-forward. However, there is no leavening involved at all, unlike some roll-out doughs that I have seen. Makes sense, the cookies need to stay crisp and relatively dense for these cookies. They bake up quickly and easily and take no time to cool. Just use powdered sugar for the rolling pin and surface to roll the cookies out on, so that the flour ratio doesn’t rise….

Im sorry, I just got distracted by Mr. Conehead.
Isn’t this the saddest thing ever? Anyway.

So, make the ganache. I sinned and didn’t have any heavy cream on me, just fat free half-and-half. Well, I figured it was worth a go. While the ganache wasn’t as rich, it set up just fine and just like a standard ganache. So, its not TOTALLY taboo, right?

Please stop looking at me like that.

As with any ganache I have ever made, I think that letting it sit for five minutes before messing with it is the best way to go. So, you can clean or do whatever you want (I didn’t clean…I watched Big Brother 🙂 ) to pass the time. Oh! Also! There is about 1/2 tsp. worth of Peppermint Extract in this recipe, so add it in as well. That stuff smells AMAZING!

When five minutes are up, go ahead and whisk/stir/fold the ganache until its all completely mixed in. If you waited five minutes, the mixing will take a LOT less time, I promise you! I love making ganache, it makes me feel like a chocolatier.

Flip the cooled cookies onto their flat sides and spread about 1 tsp. of the ganache on half of the cookies, and top with the unfilled cookies, making little sandwiches. Make sure to get all of the ganache on them, if you have some left, find the cookies that seem a little thin and add onto them. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, so that the ganache can firm up.

After this, melt some MORE chocolate (can you see what I like a lot? I like chocolate a lot…I have found that bittersweet serves this recipe perfectly.) Dip the cookies enough so that the sides are submerged, but not the bottom. Pull the cookies out of the chocolate and get as much of the excess chocolate off as you can.

Repeat with the rest of the cookies and set them on parchment paper. To quicken the chocolate-hardening process, go ahead and stick them in the ‘fridge. However, the heat from your hands on the cold chocolate will make them melt prematurely when you want to eat them, making them a bit of a mess…But that’s okay! My parents thought it would be fun to not to tell me about the chocolate that I had all over my face and neck…

Even Conehead thought it was shameful…and he’s wearing a CONE!

I guess my punishment will be to sell these to our neighbors :).

Chocolate Mint Cookies
Ingredients
FOR THE COOKIES
1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for work surface

FOR THE GANACHE
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

FOR THE GLAZE
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped

Method
Make cookies: Whisk together cocoa powder and flour in a bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg until well blended. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer dough to a work surface lightly dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter; space 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining scraps of dough. Bake cookies until firm, rotating sheets halfway through, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
Meanwhile, make ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly until chocolate is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Let cool slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
Spoon 1 teaspoon ganache onto the bottom of 1 cookie; sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and ganache. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.
Make glaze: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly. Let cool slightly. Dip one flat side of each sandwich into melted chocolate to coat; gently shake off excess. Place sandwiches, chocolate sides up, on wire racks set over baking sheets. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Cookies can be refrigerated in a single layer in airtight containers up to 2 days.

Happy Baking!
Clara