Friday, December 28, 2007

Cookies.

I actually got off my heinie and did some share-worthy holiday baking this year. I can't believe I've never given you the following cookie recipe before, since I make these every Christmas, but I have made a halfhearted search of all my archives and can't find it. So here you go. Vegans, I strongly suggest that you try to veganize this recipe. It's the bomb.

Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c plus 6 T butter
2/3 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 T vanilla
2 t orange zest (about one orange's worth. Don't skip this.)
1/2 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
2 c flour
1 c quick oats
1 c dried cranberries
1 c dark/bittersweet chocolate chunks
1/2 c walnuts (optional, but so very tasty)

Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in egg and vanilla and orange zest. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in a separate bowl. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold in remainder. Drop little wads onto a parchment-papered cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

The original recipe actually calls for 3/4 c of coconut and an extra 1/2 c each of cranberries and chocolate. While this is theoretically delicious, the dough gets unwieldy really quickly, and the measurements I've given yielded an extremely chunky and delicious batch.

I also made these cocoa-fudge cookies from Cooking Light, with some alterations. The original recipe is fine, especially with a teaspoon of cinnamon and some cayenne for that Mexican hot chocolate flava, but it has some fiddly measurements in it (7 tablespoons? really?), so I think the one below is better. It is also super, super easy. Vegans, I strongly suggest you veganize these too. Seems like it would be easy--no egg, less butter than most cookie recipes, and the strong flavors of cocoa and mint to mask any substitution-related flavors.

Mint Brownie Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 c butter (you're going to melt this, so it doesn't need to be softened)
1 c unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2-3/4 c Andes mints. Did you know they make Andes chips? This was an exciting discovery, since I foolishly assumed I would have to unwrap a lot of mints to make these cookies.

Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop at low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and the sugars, right in the same bowl or pan. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and then add them to the chocolate mixture. Stir in Andes mints (or other peppermint candy, if you like). Both times I've made these, the dough was very sticky--don't be alarmed by this. Drop little plops of dough onto a baking sheet, press some extra mints or chocolate chips onto the top if you like (I like), and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

I made some gingerbread cookies too, with candied ginger and everything, but they weren't anything to write home about (though that didn't stop me from eating them for breakfast). My mom's are much better.

I feel like a total doughball right now, by the way. Thanks cookies!

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