The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles: Guest Spot and a Recipe.

Today it is my pleasure to feature a fabulous lady, Heather Gilbert (she obviously draws her awesomeness from her name.) Heather and I are friends from our days at Otterbein and she writes over at bakingbreak. Earlier this season she told me about her new Peppermint Mocha cookies she was planning to try and of course I wanted to hear all about them! I must say, they look incredible. I can’t way to give them a try. Thanks so much for sharing your joy, Heather!

I  love Peppermint Mocha season. Just seeing those red cups makes me feel all festive. I agree with Heather, this season is all about joy and few things give me as much joy as baking for friends and family. Who doesn’t feel more joyful with Christmas cookies?

So, ‘tis the season for sharing sweets with those you care you about. Just this week I had my first red cup of the season and I’m happy to say, I think I was able to make a cookie that matches the magic of the Peppermint Mocha. You’ll be the talk of the cookie exchange with these and I hope this recipe helps you spread a little bit of joy to you and yours.

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp instant espresso
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips)
1 cup Peppermint Crunch Andes Mints Baking Chips (I found these at World Market)

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Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugar together, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, espresso, baking powder and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet gradually and fold in the chocolate chips and Andes Mints.

Drop tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper lined sheet trays and bake for 12 minutes. Enjoy!

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My New Baking Obsession.

Chocolate No Bake Cookies. I know, they’re pretty simple. But they are SO good. And quick. And chocolate.

Ok, so here’s my secret. I found this sweet recipe on foodnetwork.com and added my own little twist.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa *DARK CHOCOLATE. I promise. It will change your life.
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped in the food processor *note this is a change from the original recipe. I reduced the oatmeal and added peanuts for some extra crunch and flavor. 

Directions

Chop your peanuts up ahead of time and set those aside. Bring to a boil the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Boil for approximately 1 minute, stirring throughout. Add in the peanut butter, vanilla, oatmeal and peanuts. Mix well. Drop by the teaspoon on wax paper and allow to harden. Typically, once they are mostly cooled, I’ll pop them in the refrigerator to harden up before I serve them.

And there you have it! So simple and so good. In a few minutes time, you’ll end up with these bad boys…