that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘cookie swap’

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 10, 2014

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookiesFor the last few years, I’ve been participating in a cookie exchange with the same group of girls — past and present soccer teammates who have become good friends. And while I love catching up with them, I have to admit, it’s become a biz (yeah, that’s short for biznatch) coming up with a new recipe each year to top the previous year’s cookie.

This year, I went with the cookies I made for my fantasy football draft a few years back. In searching for an idea, though, I realized I don’t have all that many cookie recipes on here, so here’s a new one — paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies.

Now, they’re gluten free and made with natural ingredients, but they are still cookies. Please don’t think you can eat 100 and be chiseled. (Challenge accepted!)

From Paleo Spirit
♦2 1/3 c. almond meal/flour
♦1/2 c. cocoa powder
♦1/2 tsp. sea salt.
♦1/2 tsp. baking soda
♦2 tsp. instant espresso powder
♦1 tbs. vanilla extract
♦1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
♦1/2 c. coconut nectar
♦3/4 dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add in chocolate chips. Form dough into 1/2-inch balls and place on parchment paper. Press each ball down to form a disc. (They do not flatten on their own.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Total time? 20 minutes prep and bake.
Cost? $9.98 almond meal, $7.99 coconut oil, $2.99 chocolate chips, $7.49 coconut nectar
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. Whenever something is labeled #paleo or “clean” or whatever, people assume it won’t be as tasty as the “real” thing. (Funny to put that in quotation marks when it actually means real, but is referring to what everyone has come to accept as real… which is fake. How meta.) These are legitimately good. I brought them to a tailgate, and no one could tell they were “caveman cookies.” This recipe is very simple and the mix goes a long way, but the ingredients are on the pricier side. If you aren’t on a strict paleo diet, it may not be worth the investment; but if you are or you don’t care about budget, see what you think.

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you go, hot cocoa

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 17, 2011

Last year, I fussed about not having a cookie swap to go to despite a list of fantastic options I was dying to try. This year, it was looking like the same old story — no one could pick a date, everyone was busy — until I decided to take matters into my own hands. With 140+ co-workers at my new job, there had to be someone who wanted to trade cookies with me!

We held the cookie swap yesterday, and I was super pleased with the results — especially during a really busy season at our company. I came away with a beautiful variety: spritz, gingerbread, “cheery cherry,” six-layer [my favorite!], Nutella, peppermint meringues and these precious little green “wreaths” made of corn flakes, marshmallows and cinnamon candies as holly.

I had intended to contribute my favorite dark chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies, but when I hit the store Wednesday night, there were no cranberries in sight. The next day, I polled my Facebook friends on what I should make and these hot cocoa cookies eked out the win. I went to a different grocery store this time, and of course they had cranberries, but I had already psyched myself up to try something new.

These cookies are crisp around the edges, and oh-so-chewy on the inside. I made them relatively small to have enough for the cookie swap, and ended up with nearly 60. And I think I’ve eaten about 20 in the last two days. They’re a must-make.

(slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats)
♦1 c. butter, room temperature
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. marshmallow fluff
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. mini marshmallows
1 packet hot cocoa mix

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix on medium. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and combine. NOTE: The mixture will  become extremely thick. My KitchenAid mixer was really tested throughout this stage. Add fluff and [try to] combine. Fold in chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once removed, roll into balls and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Remove and sprinkle hot cocoa mix atop the cookies. Let completely cool before removing from tray.

Total time? 15 minutes prep, 12 minutes bake per batch (so I was at this for quite some time, heh).
Cost? $1 bag mini marshmallows, $1.35 fluff, $1.88 chocolate chips, 10¢ (?) for cocoa packet.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. I fell in love with the consistency of these cookies. Despite being cocoa cookies with chocolate chips inside, the chocolate flavor isn’t overpowering. I would love nothing more than to dunk these in some hot cocoa (as per How Sweet Eats recommendation), and with the temperature dropping in these parts, that’s becoming more and more likely. If you have a cookie exchange coming up, I would highly encourage you to bring these; and if you don’t have a cookie exchange coming up, make it happen!

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