NEW ORLEANS — Over the course of its 300-year history, New Orleans’ cuisine has been one of its greatest gifts to the world. Now, as we celebrate the city’s 300th birthday and WWL-TV’s 60th anniversary, our gift to you is a free e-cookbook, with free summertime recipes.

Click here to download the free "Summer Favorites" cookbook as well as the previous editions with Recipes for Cajun cooking, Lent, Global Cuisine and Holiday Recipes.

This edition of our "360 In the Kitchen" cookbook series focuses on dishes that are perfect for the long, hot south Louisiana summer. Coping with the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer has been a way of life here from the beginning. From salads and dishes with lighter sauces to icy cool desserts, our cookbook gives you some creative recipe ideas to try without sacrificing any of the flavor that New Orleans cooks are known for.

Cocoa Peppermint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peppermint crunch pieces
  • 1/2 cup crushed candies for dipping cookie

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cocoa. Set aside.
  3. With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Mix until just combined.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips and peppermint crunch pieces.
  5. Place the crushed candy canes in a small bowl. Scoop the dough into rounded tablespoons and lightly dip the tops of the cookies into candy cane pieces.
  6. Place cookie balls on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until cookies are set, but still soft in the center. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 3 minutes. If desired, add extra candy cane pieces right after they come out of the oven. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Note-store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They also can be frozen.

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Watch Chef Kevin Belton every Tuesday morning on Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV and WUPL.

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