Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Seeing as it hasn't been bitterly cold (knock on wood) this winter, no one in the house has been jazzed about hot chocolate.  This has left me with a plethora of hot chocolate mix, particularly as I prefer the stuff made with actual melted chocolate to the powdered mix.

I had 4 different types of hot chocolate mix!  How did that happen?  I found this recipe for cocoa peanut vegan cookies, on Babble that that uses hot chocolate mix.  Yes, hot chocolate mix.  The sweetened stuff, not cocoa powder.  Score!

Now my cookies weren't particularly vegan, as my hot chocolate mix contained milk, and so did my chips.  The thing is that you could totally vegan these bad boys up.  Or they would be perfect for someone with an egg or milk allergy! 
I did not have any peanuts, but I did have one and a half bags of mint and dark chocolate chips.  I have no idea how old they were, but the chocolate had begun to bloom.  The chocolate chips were ugly, but I figured if they were inside a cookie, no one would see them.  I used all one and a half bags of mint chocolate chips in place of the chocolate chips and peanuts.  They were a mighty fine substitution.

These were by far the softest cookies I have ever made.  I imagine that was due to the lack of fat (shortening/butter) and egg binder. By day three the cookies were so soft, they were sticking to each other and falling apart when you held them.  I tried to remedy this by leaving them in an unsealed container.  That did absolutely nothing.  I think a better solution would have been to store them in the freezer.  I will do that with the next batch.

Cocoa Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Babble
2 cups + 2 Tbsp whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup sweetened cocoa powder (dairy-free for vegan cookies)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup safflower oil (veg oil)
1/2 cup applesauce
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter (soften in microwave if needed to stir into dough)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup salted/roasted peanuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips (vegan)
*add more peanuts/choc chips if desired

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the wet ingredients. Fold in the peanuts and chocolate chips. Spoon dough onto greased cookie sheets. (Mine spread out quite a bit, so don't overcrowd them on the sheet.) Bake at 350 for about 11 minutes — or until edges crisp. (Mine baked for 15 min and did not get "crisp.") Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. (or attempting to remove them from the cookie sheet.)

P.S. The original recipe says it makes 16 large cookies.  I used my large cookie scoop and got at least 24 very large cookies, if not more.

P.P.S.  I read over on Cookie Madness, this tip about baking with applesauce: "Drain the applesauce.  Scoop out double the amount you need and dump that on a stack of paper towels.  Using the back of a spoon rub it into a 6" circle and let it sit for 10 min.  Gently press as much water out as you can. Then measure out what you need.  With the excess water removed there will be less steam and therefor a less rubbery product."  I can't wait to give this a try!


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