Total: 2 hr 20 min(includes chilling and cooling times)
Active: 45 min
Thanks to the help of a muffin tin, these peppermint-spiked sugar cookies are perfectly round every single time. They're also easy enough for everyone in the family to pitch in to help. Frozen peppermint patties are stuffed in the middle to ramp up the flavor and provide a hidden surprise with the first bite. No need to decorate after baking -- the sprinkles go right on top before going into the oven so that once they are cool, they are ready to go.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts and the egg. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove half of the dough and set aside. Add 5 to 6 drops of the red food coloring to the remaining dough in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until completely incorporated.
Alternating between the red and white doughs, spoon 8 heaping 1/4 teaspoon-sized pieces of dough (4 red and 4 white) into the bottom of each of the 12 cups of a standard muffin tin. Press to flatten the dough so the red and white pieces intermingle and form a slight tie-dye look. Place 1 frozen peppermint patty on top of and in the middle of each dough round, pressing very gently into the dough but making sure it does not break through and touch the bottom of the pan. Spoon 8 more heaping 1/4 teaspoon-sized pieces of dough (4 red and 4 white), alternating the colors, on top of each peppermint patty and press to flatten and completely cover the peppermint patties.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the red and white sprinkles on top of the dough in each muffin cup to completely cover it. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 1 hour (or freeze until firm, about 20 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until the edges are just starting to turn golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then use an offset spatula to remove the cookies from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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