What's in it
2 1/2 C bittersweet chocolate chips (15 oz), divided
1 1/2 C unbleached flour
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder (it's worth it!)
1/2 tsp salt (unless you are using salted butter)
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
4 candy canes coarsely crushed (they will be different sizes, that's ok)
How it's made
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in extracts and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and beat until combined. Set aside.
In a small metal bowl, measure out 2 cups chocolate chips, and place bowl over a small pot of boiling water (not a rolling boil, more like a simmer). Sir chips until smooth and melted. Measure 1/2 cup melted chocolate and set aside. If you keep it in a metal measuring cup, you can set on top of the oven to keep it warm as the oven pre heats.
Beat in remaining melted chocolate into butter mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. (Ok, I added more than that...)
Using a tablespoon, scoop out small balls of dough and place on cookie sheet 1 1/2 inches apart. If you can shape them to be more round than blob, they will come out prettier when baked.
Bake cookies about 8 or 9 minutes, until they are cracked on top and tester comes out clean. Don't be fooled by the melty chocolate chips inside, though! Let set on baking sheet for a few minutes, then move to cooling racks. You can keep them on the parchment paper on top of the racks if you'd like, to minimize cleanup.
If necessary, re-warm reserved melted chocolate until melty. Using a fork, drizzle melted chocolate in zig zags across baked cookies. Sprinkle crushed candy on top, then drizzle with a bit more chocolate. Once all the cookies are baked and decorated, transfer onto one baking sheet and stick in the refrigerator to set the chocolate, about 20 minutes.
You should be able to get all the cookies on two baking sheets if they are a good size. If you need to use one twice, be sure it cools down in between, to minimize the dough melting and spreading out.
You can freeze these cookies up to three weeks in advance if you want to get a jump start on baking for the holidays. Freeze in an air tight container, and eat them cold or at room temperature, depending on your preference.