I’m excited to introduce a guest blogger today…Nicole from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I actually knew Nicole back in college when we were both newly married. Her husband and I graduated in Computer Science together. She was making good food back then too! Now here’s Nicole…



Hi I am Nicole. In our house our favorite childrens book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Often when we read that book I find myself relating to the cute little caterpillar eating my way through life trying everything on my path. I LOVE TO EAT!!! So naturally that is what I named my recipe blog, theveryhungrycaterpillar.blogspot.com/.

I come from a family obsessed with food. They are 100% Italian. When we get together it is all about the food. My Grandmother is a wonderful woman for many reasons, but she also makes the most delicious food I have ever tasted. So I want to carry her legacy of being the best cook in the family. I take every opportunity to get in the kitchen with her and learn her Italian ways. So here I am on my quest…To cook like my grandma and be the best cook in the family… well, I will settle for second best! Please join me on my journey!


Thanks Christy for inviting me to be a part of the 12 days of Christmas Cookies. I am excited. I love The Girl Who Ate Everything and your recipes always inspire me. Today I will share with you one of my favorite Holiday cookies: Peppermint-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. I have to admit I have a thing for peppermint. I look forward to this time of the year for an excuse to have it in everything: my ice cream, cookies,  peppermint bark, popcorn, hot chocolate, anything I can think of. When I saw these cookies it was like the angels in my head started singing (am I the only one who hears this?)  The buttery taste of sugar cookies, chocolate peppermint ganache and crushed candy canes… yum. The best part is eating two cookies at once. Believe me you do not feel as guilty eating a cookie sandwich, it’s not the same as eating two cookies separately:)   


I saw Giada De Laurentiis make this recipe and she used pre made Pillsbury sugar cookie dough. I was shocked, but thought I would give it a try. You add a 1/4 cup flour, knead it in, roll it out and cut the cookies. So it is semi-homemade. I was a little put off by the store bought dough, but I was pleasantly surprised. I cooked some cookies regular and some with the kneaded in flour and it really did make a difference. If you use the pre made dough do not beat yourself up. There are so many things pulling us in different directions during the Holidays it is okay to have a little help. But if you have time and want to make them extra special make them all from scratch. I love this recipe from Our Best Bites for sugar cookies. I made my batch last night I can not stop eating them, I had to divide and wrap up all the cookies and put names on them for friends or I will eat them all. Your neighbors and friends will be impressed.



Peppermint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

 1 (16.5 ounce) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough    
 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting    
 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided    
 1/4 cup heavy cream    
 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract    
 1 teaspoon vegetable oil    
 Decorating suggestion: crushed candy canes or peppermint candies; white, red and green sprinkles; or red and green decorating sugar    
 pecial equipment: a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, and a 1/2-ounce cookie scoop
Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, knead together the cookie dough and 1/4 cup flour until smooth. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out circles from the dough. Knead together any scraps of dough and roll out again. Continue to cut out pastry circles until there are 24 pieces in total. Place the dough circles on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake until the cookies are slightly golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Reserve 1 parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Combine 1 cup of chocolate chips and the cream in a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the peppermint extract and refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour. Using a 1/2-ounce cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure, place the chocolate mixture in the center of the flat side of 12 of the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top and gently squeeze to distribute the filling evenly. Place on a baking sheet and freeze until the filling has set, about 25 minutes.
Combine the remaining chocolate chips and the vegetable oil in a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Dip the top of each cookie in the melted chocolate and return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight plastic container.


Original recipe from Food network.

Oh we have so many more yummy cookies to come!