It would not and could not be Christmas without YiaYia Cookies in my family. What are YiaYia Cookies? Let me tell you. YiaYia means Grandma in Greek, I am Greek on my dad’s side, so we called his mom YiaYia. You pronounce it like Yiy-Yiya. And my YiaYia made the best cookies – traditional Greek cookies. There were only two kinds, but we couldn’t pronounce either one of them as kids, so we called them both YiaYia Cookies.
This recipe is a spin off the traditional Kourambiethes (pronounced KorUm-bI-ethies). YiaYia made them with pecans and some without (for us kids!). I have my traditional recipe for Kourambiethes in my book Cookies for Everyone. But, because it is the holidays, I thought a chocolate peppermint version would be absolutely amazing – and it is! These cookies are similar to an Italian wedding cookie or a snowball – but they are so much better. These are not dry like those cookies can be, and they just melt in your mouth. But, you do still need a big glass of milk.
Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Peppermint YiaYia Cookies
• Make sure your butter is soft. It should be soft enough that if you squish it, it squishes easily. I like to leave butter out on the counter overnight to let it soften at room temperature. But, if you are going to soften butter in the microwave, do not do more than 30 seconds per 1 pound of butter.
• Make sure to use a peppermint flavor that you like. My favorite is Frontier Co-Op Organic Peppermint Flavor, and you can find it here.
• Cake flour is essential for these cookies. So, this is definitely needed and don’t replace it with all purpose flour or anything else. There is no organic cake flour yet, so I use King Arthur and you can find it here.
• It’s important to wait until these cookies cool before covering them in powdered sugar. If you put the powdered sugar on and they are too warm, it will just melt in. You want the powdered sugar to be a complete coating on the cookies, because it’s the best part!
Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Chocolate Peppermint YiaYia CookiesDifficulty: Easy
Similar to a snowball cookie, these Chocolate Peppermint YiaYia Cookies are a holiday cookie you must try!
1 pound (454 grams) organic salted butter, softened
142 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons organic peppermint flavor
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 organic large egg yolk
567 grams (4 cups) natural cake flour
71 grams (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) organic Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
organic powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attach ment, add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, whis key, and egg yolk. Mix on low until combined but chunks of butter remain visible.
- Add the cake flour and sea salt, and mix on low until combined into a smooth dough; it should feel like play dough in your hands.
- Using your hands, form the dough into 48 balls and place them close together on the prepared cookie sheets (they won’t spread while baking, so 24 should fit on each cookie sheet). Flatten each ball slightly. They should look like disks that are about 2 inches in diameter.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until set and dry. Let cool completely on the cookie sheets.
- Sift powdered sugar generously over the tops of the cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- High Altitude — Bake at 325°F for 17 to 20 minutes or until set and dry.
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