My parents are descended from long lines of cooks, and are professional chefs themselves. This makes for an interesting holiday season, with new dishes showing up on the scene every year. The all-time prize, however, is unquestionably given to my mother, for the creation of her Peppermint Dipped Cookies.

The cookie is simple to prepare. First, you need to make a batch of sugar cookies. I am not wasting space with a recipe here since the sugar cookie is perhaps the most generic cookie known to man. Even the Pillsbury tube-cookies will taste just fine with this recipe, if you're feeling lazy.

Here's the tricky (read: delicious) part. You'll need a few boxes of generic-brand candy canes and about one or two bags of chocolate chips (no precise measurements, as the amounts needed vary with the number of cookies baked, and how liberally you intend to apply these toppings). First, place the unwrapped candy canes into a ziploc bag and beat the unholy crap out of them. They should be reduced to a coarse dust, with pieces no thicker than an eighth of an inch. Next, melt the chocolate. The safest way to do this is using a double boiler scheme, by boiling water in a pot and placing a large metal bowl over the pot with the chocolate in it. This ensures even heating, and protects the chocolate against burning.

After both toppings are prepared, the rest is easy (if a bit messy). First, it is helpful to enlist a cookie wench to help you (signifigant others and children work nicely). Each cookie must be dipped in the molten chocolate, and then set out on parchement (or wax) paper and sprinkled with the candy cane dust. You can be as artistic with the chocolate as you want, though i find that the cookies are best when half-dipped, leaving some of he neutral sugar cookie taste behind.

The cookies should be left out for about an hour (yeah, right) so that the chocolate can set. And please, don't put them in the refrigerator; as any of the real ninjagirls can tell you, it will cause the chocolate to weep and bloom (Important-sounding culinary terms for "loose moisture" and "turn funny colors," respectfully).

For a variation, I wholeheartedly recommend binarydreams' Candy Cane Cookie recipe, dipped in chocolate as described above. This makes for a more minty cookie, and will taste just as good without the trouble of enlisting helpers.

This writeup was created for The Ninjagirls Christmas Special quest.

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