Candy cane chocolate chip cookies recipe by Claire Ptak | Christmas food and drink

When I was at university, I spent my summers as the baker on a Wyoming dude ranch called the HF Bar. The focus was mainly cowboy cakes and fruit pies. Every dessert was offered a la mode.

The ice-cream freezer we had housed only four large 5-gallon tubs of ice-cream so we stocked it with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and mint choc chip, the classics. Occasionally, the mint choc chip was out of stock and they would send a peppermint stick, a peppermint ice-cream with crushed candy can be churned through, as a replacement. I loved it so much, even though it seemed like the wrong time of year to be eating it. It inspired these cookies, which are perfect for the Christmas table or for gifts. They would also make wonderful ice-cream sandwiches with peppermint sticks, mint choc chips, or even chocolate ice-cream.

make about 12 large cookies
unsalted butter 125gsoftened
caster sugar 125g
fine sea salt ½ tsp
eggs 1
peppermint extract ½ tsp
plain flour 180g
baking powder ¾ tsp
dark chocolate 150gbroken into pieces
candy canes 150gbroken into pieces
flaked sea salt 1 tspto sprinkle on top

In an electric mixer beat together the softened butter and the sugar until creamy. You don’t want it to be as light and fluffy as you do for a cake, so don’t beat it for too long. Scrape down the sides and add the fine sea salt, egg and peppermint extract. Mix again until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the chocolate and candy cane pieces and mix all together. Scoop balls of about 50-55g each in weight, or the size of a golf ball. Chill for 30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 170C fan/gas mark 5th and bake for 14 minutes until slightly golden. Serve immediately or allow to cool and keep in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also keep them frozen in balls to bake off as and when you want warm cookies. Delicious with a scoop of ice-cream.

Claire Ptak is the owner of Violet Cakes, London E8