THE Peppermint Mocha Cookies

What is the best thing about this time of year? Decorations? Friends? Snow? Family? Traditions? Holiday episodes of your favorite shows (Chrismukkah, anyone…)? I love them all but my favorite is that I can bake my little heart out. Cookies for gifts, cakes for parties, all are greeted with festive open arms. For the past few years I’ve been trying to perfect a peppermint mocha cookie (see attempts one and two). I think I finally nailed it. This cookie is cake like and packed with the delicious flavors of a peppermint mocha. So here’s my gift to you, a recipe that’s sure to spread holiday cheer. (For when singing loud for all to hear just isn’t working.)

The Peppermint Mocha Cookie

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup teaspoon peppermint peppermint crunch baking chips (I use Andes)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

2. Cream together the butter and brown sugar. (I use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.) Add eggs one at a time and then mix in vanilla and peppermint extract.

3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, instant espresso and flour.

4. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet until just mixed. Fold in chocolate chips.

5. Scoop tablespoons of batter on to baking sheets and top each with peppermint chips.

6. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before moving to cooling racks or lay out sheets of parchment paper for them to cool on.

7. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 15-20 cookies.

Hello, Summer

Aren’t we all in disbelief that it is now June? Seriously, how did that happen? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it’s summer and ready for all that it brings: cookouts, cute dresses, weddings, vacation, flowers and vegetables from my garden.

This month my kitchen chalkboard has some wisdom from Queen Tina Fey. There are so many great things to do this time of year, I’m just going to say yes as often as possible.

Wisdom from Tina Fey

With the warmer temps, baking gets harder as I’m less inclined to turn on the oven. Sunday I was all set to make cookies but the AC went bust. I went ahead and made the dough and refrigerated it. Thankfully I was able to borrow a friend’s kitchen Monday night to try out a new recipe, Chocolate Raspberry cookies!

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

We tried out a few different baking times and 12 minutes seemed to be the perfect amount of time, but I still want to do some tweaking. They are a little chewier than I prefer my cookies, but I decided they are perfect for ice cream sandwiches…and I just so happened to have some Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp in my freezer!

Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When life gives you chewy cookies and broken AC…make ice cream sandwiches!

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Happy 2014!

Happy 2014! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I think this December was one of my best. I’m so glad I was able to spend time with the important people in my life, especially those that live far away. A few highlights:

  • Took a cooking class at Faire La Cuisine and ate so much I could barely move.
  • Made Christmas cookies with my mom. These included my grandma’s peanut butter cookie recipe and trying out a new marzipan bar recipe. Oh, and sugar cookies, of course!

xmascookies

  • Spent several days in a row laughing with friends over snacks and wine. Oh, and discovered Heads Up!
  • Created a recipe for Peppermint Mocha No Bake Cookies! If you’re like me, you’re surrounded by snow and cold weather, so enjoy these as a treat this week.

Peppermint Mocha No-Bake Cookies

DSCN2705

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon instant espresso
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1. Combine sugar, milk, cocoa and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for 90 seconds, constantly stirring.

2. Remove from heat and quickly add the remaining ingredients.

3. Drop by spoonfuls on wax or parchment paper.

Do you have any New Year resolutions?
I don’t typically make resolutions, but I have few goals for the month. Since Thanksgiving I haven’t been sticking to my five day vegetarian plan so I’m planning to jump back on the wagon. Last year I took part in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure and really enjoyed it so I’ll be taking part again. Apparently, I tend to get sloppy in the last months of the year. I’m excited to have some free weekends this month so I’m planning to tackle some Pinterest crafts. Here’s a start:

photo 2

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Or as I named them, KYP Crunchies! These cookies kicked off my holiday baking for a cookie exchange with Columbus Komen Young Professionals. Breast cancer has been a cause close to me since high school and I’ve been volunteering with this group for a few years. To jazz up our usual meeting we decided to include a cookie exchange, but with a twist. The cookies had to include an ingredient recommend for a healthy diet to prevent cancer.

Here were some of the possible ingredients:

Green Tea (epigallocatechin gallate, polyphenols and catechins)
Berries (ellagic acid, vitamin C, fiber and polyphenol antioxidants)
Spinach (powerful antioxidants)
Beets (powerful antioxidants)
Ginger and Turmeric (anti-inflammatory properties)
Dark Chocolate (antioxidants and catechins)
Grapes (resveratrol)
Walnuts (polyphenols)
Winter Squash (carotenoids, vitamin A, fiber, vitamin C)
Flaxseed (magnesium and fiber)
Cherries (vitamin C, fiber, potassium)

…but we all made oatmeal cookies with cranberries or cherries. Great minds! These cookies are crunchy and are a great companion with a cup of tea.

Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and mist baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and egg until smooth and creamy.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients–cinnamon, flour, oats and baking soda until well-combined.

4. Gradually add ingredients in with the butter mixture (may look dry).  Stir in cranberries and chocolate.

5. Drop on cookie sheet by teaspoonfuls and bake 10-12 minutes.

If you’re in Columbus and interested in becoming involved with Komen Columbus, please let me know!

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

Happy Holidays! What are you baking this holiday season? So far I’ve made sugar cookies and whipped up my own recipe to pay homage to one of my favorite holiday traditions, the Peppermint Mocha.

Today you can find my guest post with a recipe for Peppermint Mocha Cookies over at A Myriad Life. I really had fun putting this recipe together and was so happy it came out successfully on my first try. Thanks to Heather for letting me share the joy. Make you sure you visit A Myriad Life for more Peppermint Mocha Chronicles! Cheers!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It doesn’t get much better than fall in the Midwest. The clothes, the weather…the flavors! Specifically, pumpkin-flavored everything. Coffee, muffins, beer, cream cheese, the amount of pumpkin I’ve consumed over the past month is almost concerning. By far the best pumpkin treat I’ve had were these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. The recipe from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen was delicious and easy. I just had to share it, it will definitely become one of my fall staples. I opted to not make the glaze, but please let me know if you try it! The recipe made around 50 cookies so you’ll have plenty to share. Take these to your Thanksgiving and everyone will be thankful for you.

The Most Wonderful Time Every Four Years

Happy Olympics! The Olympics are celebrated on a holiday level for me. There are decorations, so of course there are treats! Here are the America cookies I made for the Opening Ceremony:

In other news, with the temperatures being so unbearable here in Ohio I haven’t done much baking this summer. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is turn on the oven. So instead I’m creating quite the baking to-do list. I had the most amazing chocolate croissant at La Boulange while on vacation so this fall I’ll be making it my mission to master this treat. Also, can Columbus please get a French bakery like this? I want every single item on their menu. Is anyone else already daydreaming of fall?