Add dry ingredients, flour, salt and sifted black cocoa powder to a medium sized
bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, blend butter on medium speed for five to ten seconds. Add sugar and mix on low to incorporatet. Increase speed
to medium and cream the butter mixture until it is aerated and looks like frosting, about three minutes.
Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
Add the yolks, one at at time.
Add the vanilla extract.
Mix briefly until the egg yolks combine with the cookie dough. Scrape bowl. Mix another 30 seconds.
Add flour mixture all at once and mix on low until the dough just comes together,k about one minute.
Use a plastic bench scraper to finish bringing the dough together by hand.
Divide dough in half and place each half on a retangle of plastic wrap. Pat each
half down and wrap tightly. Chill in refrigerator at least two hours, preferably overnight.
When you're ready to bake the shortbread, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes.
You want it pliable but still cool to the touch.
Place the dough between two sheets of parchment and roll out until you have a rectangle about
a 1/4 inch thick or a bit less.
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter, ideally 1 3/4 by 2 1/2 inch. Bake cookies on parchment lined half sheet pan at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes.
Pay attention to smell. When they smell done, they usually are. But pay attention to the timer
and their appearance too. My magic number was 13 minutes.
Repeat process with second lump of dough.
Make peppermint buttercream frosting:
Blend peppermints in a food processor until they form a powder. This step is crucial. Sift
the powder to make sure you've gotten out all the pieces and chunks. If you don't do this,
those little pieces and chunks will clog up your pastry tip when you're frosting the cookies.
This happened to me and I had to finish frosting with an offset spatula. Not the worst problem in the world
but I didn't get them as neat as I would have liked.
Set pulverized peppermints aside.
In medium sized bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter briefly for 5 to 10 seconds.
Add cream cheese and beat to combine. Add the sugar and beat until the butter mixture is
aerated and pale in color, about 3 minutes. Remember to scrape bottom and sides of bowl with
a spatula to incorporate everything. Mix in the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt for about
one minute. Mix in the ground peppermints. Voila, you've just made peppermint buttercream
frosting, which should be a luverly pale pink.
Fill a pastry bag with an Ateco tip #804 and fill with frosting. Frost cookies, sandwich together and then refrigerate
until bark is ready.
Make white chocolate peppermint bark:
Line a sheet pan or anything you want to use with parchment--I was out of sheet pans at this point
so I used a 9x13 cake pan. Improvise people!
Put peppermints in food processor and pulse until you have a blend of fine and small pieces.
Pour into a bowl and fold in the white chocolate.
Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and spread out, using a spatula, until the mix is
about a 1/4 inch thick.
Bang pan against a work surface to flatten. Refrigerate or freeze until firm 25 to 30 minutes.
Once firm, break into small pieces for affixing to each cookie.
To Gild the Lily:
Melt bittersweet, semisweet or regular ole' chocolate (I used a big Hershey's bar) in a small
bowl. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper.
Put a piece of bark onto each cookie. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.
The cookies will keep, refrigerated, for one week.