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Posts Tagged ‘cocoa’

Why didn’t it even cross my mind? All hockey season long I see signs posted on entrance doors of rinks everywhere: “No outside food or drinks allowed.” My hockey mom mojo was out the window as Sunday I was just a cheer aunt with peanut butter cream cheese brownies and chewy cocoa peanut butter chip cookies to share with my family.

Cocoa Peanut Butter Chip Cookies | Random Sweetness Baking

When we stopped at the arena doors so the security guards could check our bags, I thought they were checking for guns and knives.

Katera Wildfire Cheer

But as soon as she spotted the unconcealed plastic bottle of water in the side pocket of my camera bag, the guard informed me that no outside food or drinks were allowed in the arena. I thought she was talking about my overstuffed canvas bag of chocolate and peanut butter treats but she didn’t even notice. She kept her eyes on me until I ditched my water but I made it through with the bag full of cookies and brownies to share with my family.

Hailee

But I was mortified when I was driving home. I took a bite of cookie and the sugar consistency was like gasping in a mouthful of sand after too many cocktails on the beach during spring break. I’ve made these cookies a lot since the time they disappeared before Christmas supper in 2013 and they’ve never been like that.

cream cheese peanut butter brownies

I went to bed thinking about it and woke up in the morning knowing exactly what went wrong. The recipe calls for 1¼ cups of softened butter and for some reason I forgot one whole stick of butter! I guess that’s what I get for unintentionally smuggling goodies into the cheer competition.

Chewy Cocoa Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

2 cups sugar

1-1/4 cups butter (2 and a half sticks), softened

2 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10-ounce package (1-2/3 cups) peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir together and then gradually add to butter mixture; beating until well combined. Stir in peanut butter chips until distributed evenly into the cookie dough.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Do not over-bake. The cookies will not look like they are done but they will puff up a little when baking and then they’ll drop when they are cooling. They are soft with a little crunch around the edges.

Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Sweet buttery wishes,

Staci

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It’s not like chocolate and mint don’t go together when the skies are sunny and blue and the grass is tall and green, but there’s something festive about a platter of cocoa mint cookies reflecting the dancing lights of a Christmas tree surrounded by family and friends.chewy cocoa mint marshmallow cookies

If you’re from the Midwest, you can see how these chewy cookies resemble a Minnesota snow pile—our snow gets plowed into towering mounds of snow which melt into piles of dirt and muck (the cookie), school gets called off and kids build frolicking snowmen out of sticky snowballs (teensy marshmallow bits), and then a fresh blanket of snow falls, turning everything into a sparkling winter wonderland (dusting of powdered sugar).

marshmallow mint cookie ingredients

You’ll want to check your grocery store soon for the HERSHEY’s mint chocolate chips because I can only find them during the Christmas season. (If you live in my neck of the woods, I buy them at Hy-Vee. I can’t find them at Wal-Mart.) You can use any mint chocolate chips you want, I just like that these are actually semi-sweet chocolate chips. The Mallow Bits are usually in the hot chocolate aisle. But my local grocery store thinks they are seasonal so I couldn’t buy them there last summer. Small town, one grocery store problems…

chewy cocoa mint marshmallow cookies

I found that if you leave the cookies sitting out, the teensy marshmallows on top get crunchy – just like I like them! You can store the cookies in an airtight container but the marshmallows will get soft. (Only leave the cookies sitting out a day or two or they won’t be chewy anymore.)

Chewy cocoa mint marshmallow cookies

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

2 cups sugar

1-1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

¾ cup Andes Crème De Menthe Baking Chips

1 cup mint chocolate chips such as HERSHEY’S semi-sweet mint chocolate chips

2 (3 oz. each) bottles tiny marshmallow bits, divided

powdered sugar for dusting

Make the cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl beat sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir together and then gradually add to butter mixture; beating on low just until combined.
  4. Stir in Andes baking chips, mint chocolate chips, and 1 cup marshmallow bits until distributed into dough evenly.
  5. Roll dough into balls. Flatten balls lightly and press into bowl of marshmallow bits, pressing bits gently into dough so they stick when baked.
  6. Place marshmallow side up on ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will not look like they are done but they will puff up a little when baking and then they’ll drop when they are cooling. They are soft with a little crunch around the edges.
  8. Cool 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack. When cookies are completely cool, dust with powdered sugar.
  9. If eating within a day or two, keep uncovered – this allows the marshmallows on top to get a little crunchy. If you like the marshmallows soft, store in airtight container.

Sweet minty wishes,

Staci

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Sometimes it’s what you do in the kitchen while you bake chunky, brownie-like mint cookies.

creme de menthe and cocoa cookies

The biggest tip I can give you for these cookies is do not overbake them. You want them to be crispy on the outside, and soft and brownie-like in the middle with a cool crunch from the cereal.

I saw mama drinking crème de menthe out of the bottle and eating cereal out of the box, cocoa mint cookies

Makes approximately 3 dozen large cookies (the size you bake 6 to a cookie sheet) or 6 dozen small cookies (12 to a cookie sheet)

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tablespoons softened butter (21 tablespoons)

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon dripping with crème de menthe liqueur (or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract if you drank it all)

2 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch cereal or crispy rice cereal

15 ounces semi sweet mint chocolate chips (1-1/2 bags of HERSHEY’S mint chocolate chips)

powdered sugar to sprinkle lightly on the tops

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Do not grease cookie sheets. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets if preferred.
  2. In a large bowl, beat all the softened butter with the sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and crème de menthe liqueur (or peppermint extract). Beat on medium high until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Slowly beat this dry mixture into the large bowl with butter mixture.
  4. Stir in the mint chocolate chips and the cereal.
  5. Drop dough by cookie scoop or spoonful onto the cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes for smaller cookies and 9-10 minutes for larger cookies. Bake just until set – they may look a little soft in the center but they will set once cooled. Don’t overbake or they will get hard.
  6. Move to cooling racks. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and cool. Store in airtight container.

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A teaspoon of zest and the juice of an orange turn a bowl-full of powdered sugar into a creamy kiss from the sun on top of these chewy, chocolate brownies.

Orange-Kissed Brownies | Random Sweetness Baking

I recently purchased the Better Homes and Gardens Brownies & Bars magazine and the first treats I made were Orange-Kissed Chocolate Brownies.

They are worthy of making again so I’m keeping track of this recipe, with a note to serve with ice-cold milk or steamy coffee. The only thing I might add next time is a dash or two of Grand Marnier® to the brownie batter.

Next on my list from this magazine are:

  1. Toffee-pumpkin pie bars
  2. Apple-cinnamon streusel bars
  3. Goat cheese brownies with honey swirl
  4. Pistachio and cream cheese sugar cookies

Speaking of orange and chocolate desserts, here’s a good recipe for orange-chocolate cheesecake from KFAFT. It’s the one I photographed for the title header at the top of my home page. Of course, I add Grand Marnier® to that recipe too. I’m one of those parents who’ll notice their liqueur missing from the baking pantry, not the liquor cabinet.

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It’s not clear to me how it happened, but somewhere between the pumpkin pie, washing the dishes, opening presents, and setting out all the goodies, all but three of my chewy cocoa peanut butter chip cookies disappeared.

And I faintly recall what sounded like a Food Network cookie review behind me as we washed dishes. There was talk of “they’re so soft,” “I like the crunchy edges,” and “there’s a perfect ratio of chocolate and peanut butter.”

Chewy Cocoa Peanut Butter Chip Cookies | Random Sweetness Baking

Speaking of Christmas cookies, we can’t be the only family that’s overly ambitious with our Christmas baking. Between the bakers in my family, there are six ovens, six mixers, and countless pounds of sugar involved in the making of our annual goodies feast. Of course, we eat a traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, too.

And this table is not an accurate account of how many sweets we really had because there are more in the refrigerator and a big stack sitting on my entryway bench that hadn’t made it to the table yet. Luckily, we all pack up containers of our favorites and enjoy them for a few weeks after Christmas.

Christmas goodies table

Chewy Cocoa Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

2 cups sugar

1-1/4 cups butter, softened

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10-ounce package (1-2/3 cups) peanut butter chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir together and then gradually add to the butter mixture; beating until well combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips until they are distributed evenly into the cookie dough.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will not look like they are done but they will puff up a little when baking and then they’ll drop when they are cooling. They are soft with a little crunch around the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack.

Forget about cooling completely. Start eating them after they’ve cooled 15 minutes or so. Store in an airtight container. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

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