Jeannie's Healthy Breakfast Cookies

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What could be better than a cookie? How about a cookie that’s packed with nutrients and can be eaten anytime, especially for breakfast, guilt free?

I love cookies. They are my go-to when I want to whip up something with limited time, or don’t have much energy for other more entailed desserts. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the fact that cookies are also one of my favorite things to eat. It ends up turning into a win-win-win situation because I’m having fun, being productive, get to eat some of the ingredients while baking, get to eat some dough while baking, and BONUS if there is enough dough to actually be baked into cookies! So many wins.

I have to bring up the negative, however, to classic cookie baking. They’re kinda calorific and not very good for you. I’m all for eating cookies for breakfast, but that usually goes along with a sugar crash later on. What to do?

Bake healthy cookies! They have to be delicious of course, and not gross. I have just the recipe for you, made up by my mom many years ago when we needed a portable nutritious breakfast for a trip. This recipe has been in my recipe box ever since as “Jean’s breakfast cookies”, made with many adjustments because the add ins are very versatile depending on your tastes. My mom likes to be called Jeannie (not by her kids of course) so I adapted the title accordingly.

One thing this recipe is not is a taste-alike recipe to say, chocolate chip cookies with a surprise twist that it’s healthy. Nope, these cookies have a satisfyingly healthy look and taste and are upfront about it from the get go. They get positive feedback and recipe requests wherever they go!

The recipe that follows is just one version of many, many possibilities. Just keep in mind that major adjustments may need other adjustments. For example, if you don’t have any honey or maple syrup on hand for the sweetener, you could use raw or regular cane sugar. Substituting a liquid for a dry ingredient, however, will mean you may need more liquid from elsewhere. Maybe add another egg, a bit more oil, or even water until you get a cookie dough consistency once again. Other ideas to make the recipe your own:

  • Use any kind of flour you wish instead of wheat flour. Oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour…I often use wheat germ in place of part of the flour or flaxmeal, usually 1/4 cup.

  • If you want these cookies to be gluten-free, ensure that your oats are gluten-free, and use a gluten-free flour.

  • Change up the spices. Sometimes towards fall I also add a bit of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Cardamom is also nice.

  • Beyond dried fruit and walnuts, get creative with your add-ins! Just try not to go too far beyond 1 cup, otherwise there might not be enough dough to hold everything together. In the photos on this post I used dried apples, dried cranberries, and walnuts. I’ve also added various combinations of dried cherries, prunes, dried apricots, raisins, dates, dried figs, dried pears, fresh apples, grated coconut, pecans, hazelnuts, dark chocolate, crystallized ginger, and anything else I had on hand!

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Recipe adapted from my mama


Jeannie’s Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Makes about 18-22 cookies

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup / 112g olive or coconut oil

  • generous 1/3 cup / 120g maple syrup or honey

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup / 120g all-purpose or whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 cups / 135g rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup / 90g flaxmeal

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup / 105g nuts, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 apple, diced

  • 1/4 cup / 50g dried fruit, chopped if necessary

Directions:

Oven 375°F / 190°C. Baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.

  1. In a large bowl combine wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until smooth.

  2. In another medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, oats, flaxmeal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

  3. Add dry ingredients, nuts, apple, and dried fruit to wet ingredients, mix until well combined.

  4. Spoon generous tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly as they won’t spread much, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges turn lightly golden brown and centers are no longer doughy.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • you can make flaxmeal at home by simply processing some flaxseeds in a coffee or spice grinder.

  • olive oil has a rather strong taste so if you prefer to avoid that, try going with the coconut oil option or even a neutral oil like peanut oil.

  • 3 egg whites can be substituted for the 2 eggs for cholesterol-conscience people.

healthy, nutritious, cookies, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, dried fruit, apple, fall spices, oats, nuts, coconut, portable
breakfast, dessert, snack
American
Yield: 12-16 cookies
Author:

Jeannie's Breakfast Cookies

Healthy cookies packed with nutritious ingredients that make for a great breakfast or anytime snack. Dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made gluten-free.
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 30 M

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup / 112g olive oil or coconut oil
  • generous 1/3 cup / 120g maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup / 120g all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups / 135g rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup / 90g flaxmeal
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup / 105g nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup / 50g dried fruit, chopped if necessary

instructions:

How to cook Jeannie's Breakfast Cookies

  1. Oven 375°F / 190°C. Baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until smooth.
  3. In another medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, oats, flaxmeal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Add dry ingredients, nuts, apple, and dried fruit to wet ingredients, mix until well combined.
  5. Spoon generous tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly as they won’t spread much, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges turn lightly golden brown and centers are no longer doughy.

NOTES:

you can make flaxmeal at home by simply processing some flaxseeds in a coffee or spice grinder. olive oil has a rather strong taste so if you prefer to avoid that, try going with the coconut oil option or even a neutral oil like peanut oil. 3 egg whites can be substituted for the 2 eggs for cholesterol-conscience people.

Calories

265.40

Fat (grams)

15.87

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.49

Carbs (grams)

27.23

Fiber (grams)

3.34

Net carbs

23.89

Sugar (grams)

9.53

Protein (grams)

5.72

Sodium (milligrams)

188.36

Cholesterol (grams)

31.00
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 12 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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Sicilian Almond Cookies - Paste alle Mandorle

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Paste alle mandorle, or almond cookies, are one of the simplest and most delicious cookie recipes you could ask for, requiring only 4 ingredients and an overnight refrigeration, so you can make the dough one day and bake the next. And because they only use almond flour, they are gluten-free friendly!

These cookies and many variations of them hail from Sicily, where the land is full of sunshine and Mediterranean breezes, charming towns, and has the perfect climate for some of the most succulent citrus fruits and almonds. Or so I’ve heard, I have yet to actually go there! The first time I found a bag of Sicilian almonds in Italy I snatched them up, hoping for a taste experience like never before. Basically setting myself up for disappointment. They were good, yes, but I think it would be best to eat them fresh, in Sicily. Until that day when I go to Sicily, I will content myself with tastes of their culture, like the occasional good arancini (fried pyramids of rice stuffed with cheese and veggies or meat) that you can find around Florence, granita ( a slushy type drink), brioche stuffed with gelato, and cannoli. And of course, these almond cookies. And they’re so simple to make. Dangerous.

Original recipe adapted and translated from GialloZafferano


Sicilian Almond Cookies - Paste alle Mandorle

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups / 250g almond flour

  • 1 1/4 cups / 250g granulated sugar

  • 2 / 60g egg whites

  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Garnishes (optional)

  • powdered sugar

  • whole, sliced, or slivered almonds

Directions:

Oven 350F / 180C

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour and the sugar.

  2. Mix in the egg whites and the almond extract until thoroughly combined. This can be done with a spoon, a hand mixer, stand mixer, or even in a food processor.

  3. Cover dough and place in fridge overnight or for at least 7 hours.

  4. Remove dough from fridge and roll into balls, then roll in powdered sugar. Flatten cookies a bit, as they will not spread much in the oven. Press in a few almond slices on top. Alternately, shape them as you wish, as they hold their shape well after the overnight refrigeration.

  5. Place cookies on a silpat or parchment covered baking sheet, leaving about 1” between cookies.

  6. Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until just lightly golden. Be careful no to overbake, cookies should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • If you have almonds and a method to grind them, such as a food processor, go ahead and make fresh almond flour! Be careful not to overgrind, you don’t want the almonds to heat up and the oil to start to escape, resulting in almond butter.

  • If you prefer other extracts, go ahead and play around with other flavors; vanilla, orange, lemon, coconut, etc.

  • This recipe, if you go by weight instead of imperial measurements, is very easy to modify or double, triple, halve, etc.! You can see that the ratio of almond flour to sugar is 1:1: essentially all you have to do is mix together equal weights of almond flour and sugar, with just enough egg whites to bind them together easily and a touch of extract for flavor. Voila.

  • These cookies have many variants and shapes and are often piped with candied cherries on top. I’m not a huge candied fruit person, and so I found a simple recipe and omitted the piping for one of the simpler almond cookie methods, rolling in powdered sugar and decorating with almonds.

Italian
Yield: 24
Author:

Sicilian Almond Cookies - Paste alle Mandorle

A classic Italian cookie originating in Sicily with a soft center and crunchy exterior. 4 ingredients and gluten-free.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: 12 Mtotal time: 42 M

ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups / 250g almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups / 250g granulated sugar
  • 2 / 60g egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
Garnishes (optional)
  • powdered sugar
  • whole, sliced, or slivered almonds

instructions:

How to cook Sicilian Almond Cookies - Paste alle Mandorle

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour and the sugar.
  2. Mix in the egg whites and the almond extract until thoroughly combined. This can be done with a spoon, a hand mixer, stand mixer, or even in a food processor.
  3. Cover dough and place in fridge overnight or for at least 7 hours.
  4. Remove dough from fridge and roll into balls, then roll in powdered sugar. Flatten cookies a bit, as they will not spread much in the oven. Press in a few almond slices on top. Alternately, shape them as you wish, as they hold their shape well after the overnight refrigeration.
  5. Place cookies on a silpat or parchment covered baking sheet, leaving about 1” between cookies.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until just lightly golden. Be careful no to overbake, cookies should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

NOTES:

If you have almonds and a method to grind them, such as a food processor, go ahead and make fresh almond flour! Be careful not to overgrind, you don’t want the almonds to heat up and the oil to start to escape, resulting in almond butter. If you prefer other extracts, go ahead and play around with other flavors; vanilla, orange, lemon, coconut, etc. This recipe, if you go by weight instead of imperial measurements, is very easy to modify or double, triple, halve, etc.! You can see that the ratio of almond flour to sugar is 1:1: essentially all you have to do is mix together equal weights of almond flour and sugar, with just enough egg whites to bind them together easily and a touch of extract for flavor. Voila. These cookies have many variants and shapes and are often piped with candied cherries on top. I’m not a huge candied fruit person, and so I found a simple recipe and omitted the piping for one of the simpler almond cookie methods, rolling in powdered sugar and decorating with almonds.

Calories

110.04

Fat (grams)

5.24

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.40

Carbs (grams)

14.38

Fiber (grams)

1.31

Net carbs

13.07

Sugar (grams)

12.51

Protein (grams)

2.76

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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Chocolate Thumbprint Cheesecake Cookies

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I like cookies.  I like cheesecake.  What happens when you put them together?  These Cheesecake Cookies!  And you know what's great about this recipe?  Besides being delicious, of course, is that it calls for one sleeve of graham crackers.  Perfect for all those times you buy a box of graham crackers to make a crust or similar recipe that usually call for two sleeves of graham crackers and leave you hanging with just one lonely sleeve.  Cheesecake Cookies to the rescue!  They look more time consuming to make than they really are, it's pretty straightforward.  So let's get to it! 

Recipe adapted from Kitchme


Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

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  • 1 1/4 cups / 135g (1 sleeve) finely crushed chocolate graham crackers

  • 3/4 cup / 90g all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 cup / 113g butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar

  • 1 egg, separated

  • 3 ounces / 85g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 cup / 50g sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional

Directions:

Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment or silicone mats.  

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking powder.  

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter with the brown sugar.  Beat in the egg white.  Add the mixture to the graham cracker mixture and mix until combined.  

  3. Again, in the clean bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Add the sugar, egg yolk, zest, and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Set aside.

  4. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop a very generous tablespoon worth of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.  (If your graham cracker dough seems too soft to easily hold its shape, add a bit more flour.)  Repeat until all the dough has been scooped onto the cookies sheets, evenly spaced, leaving room for them to spread.  

  5. Press your thumb into the cookies to make a deep well; fill with the cream cheese mixture. 

  6. Bake 8-11 minutes or until the filling is just set.  

Can't do anything around here.

Can't do anything around here.

Jenny's Notes:

  • Use any flavor graham crackers, regular, cinnamon, chocolate! You could also experiment with similar cookies, such as teddy grahams.

  • Regular sugar can be substituted for the brown sugar with a slightly different texture for the cookie. Not bad, just slightly different. Or add a teaspoon or two of molasses to 1/2 cup regular sugar and mix before adding to the recipe.

  • You can fill the cookies right to the top with the cream cheese as the filling shouldn't do more than puff a bit in the oven.

  • Feel free to add different extracts and zests to your cream cheese filling, if you wish, or even cocoa to make it ALL chocolate! I'm thinking cinnamon graham crackers with a touch of orange extract and orange zest for a fall treat!

American
Yield: 24
Author:

Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Chocolate graham cracker thumbprint cookies filled with a cream cheese filling.
prep time: 50 Mcook time: 11 Mtotal time: 61 M

ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups / 135g (1 sleeve) finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
  • 3/4 cup / 90g all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup / 113g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 3 ounces / 85g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup / 50g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional

instructions:

How to cook Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

  1. Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking powder.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter with the brown sugar. Beat in the egg white. Add the mixture to the graham cracker mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Again, in the clean bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, egg yolk, zest, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop a very generous tablespoon worth of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. (If your graham cracker dough seems too soft to easily hold its shape, add a bit more flour.) Repeat until all the dough has been scooped onto the cookies sheets, evenly spaced, leaving room for them to spread.
  6. Press your thumb into the cookies to make a deep well; fill with the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Bake 8-11 minutes or until the filling is just set.

NOTES:

Use any flavor graham crackers, regular, cinnamon, chocolate! You could also experiment with similar cookies, such as teddy grahams. Regular sugar can be substituted for the brown sugar with a slightly different texture for the cookie. Not bad, just slightly different. Or add a teaspoon or two of molasses to 1/2 cup regular sugar and mix before adding to the recipe. You can fill the cookies right to the top with the cream cheese as the filling shouldn't do more than puff a bit in the oven. Feel free to add different extracts and zests to your cream cheese filling, if you wish, or even cocoa to make it ALL chocolate! I'm thinking cinnamon graham crackers with a touch of orange extract and orange zest for a fall treat!

Calories

111.78

Fat (grams)

6.07

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.44

Carbs (grams)

13.46

Fiber (grams)

0.31

Net carbs

13.15

Sugar (grams)

8.41

Protein (grams)

1.29

Sodium (milligrams)

108.74

Cholesterol (grams)

21.56
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_4755.jpg

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Going back to the classics.  American classics.  Chocolate chip cookies.  And not just any chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies the NY Times way.  Want me to say chocolate chip cookies one more time?  Chocolate. Chip. Cookies.  

Why do we need one more chocolate chip cookie recipe floating around?  

When it comes to the kitchen, I'm not one much for routine.  I like to explore, to try and constantly better what it is in my power to improve.  And as I am constantly learning about foods and why ingredients act the way they do, the more I can apply that to recipes.  When you have a classic such as chocolate chip cookies (yes, chocolate chip cookies) it may seem unnecessary to improve upon it.  Chances are, even if your recipe isn't that great, they probably will taste great anyway.  They're pretty hard to mess up.  That's also why there are so many chocolate chip cookie recipes out there.  People are satisfied with "good" when they don't know they're missing out on "great".  

I have three recipes for chocolate chip cookies)that I love, including the one I am about to share with you.  The other two include a classic recipe a.k.a. my mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies, and one with browned butter. You can find that one here.  I'm sure there are more out there that are wonderful.  But for now, I share with you another truly good recipe.  Courtesy of the NY Times, they knew what they were doing with this one.

The recipe includes bread flour and cake flour, lending a wonderful chew and delicate crumb, respectively.

Then there is the long refrigeration, which allows all the ingredients to marry and the flavor to concentrate as the dough dries out every so slightly.

When the cookies are finally baked, the sugar is able to crystallize easier resulting in beautiful golden edges with a center still soft, and an extra caramel nutty flavor.

Even if the refrigeration has to be skipped due to a time constraint, the cookies will still turn out delicious, although I would urge you to try the refrigeration for yourself to taste that extra special result!

Recipe adapted from the NY Times


NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 40-70 cookies, depending on size.

Ingredients:

  • 220g / 2 cups cake flour

  • 200g / 1 2/3 cup bread flour

  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 5g / 1 tsp salt

  • 283g / 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter

  • 250g / 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

  • 225g / 1 generous cup granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 9g / 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 566g / 20 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

  1. Whisk together cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  

  3. Add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Carefully incorporate chocolate chips.  You may want to use a spoon as a stand mixer can crush the chocolate chips.  

  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 24-72 hours. 

  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.  Scoop cold dough out onto cookie sheets in 1" balls, or desired size.  Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt, if you like.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges turn a nice golden brown and centers still look a bit soft.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • Why bread and cake flour?  Bread flour has a higher gluten content and lends more crisp and chew to the cookies.  Cake flour is finer and lends a delicate crumb.  

  • If you need these cookies the same day you are making the cookies, the refrigeration is not absolutely essential.  When you place a dough in the fridge, the moisture in the dough is able to be evenly absorbed, then after a time begins to dry out, concentrating the flavors.  Then, when you bake the cookies, the sugar is able to caramelize better.  That is the beautiful golden brown color you see, and nutty flavor you taste.  Also, a cold or refrigerated dough won't spread as much.    

chocolate chips, bread flour, cake flour, NY Times, cookies
Dessert
American
Yield: 40-70 cookies
Author:

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies get a remix with bread flour, cake flour, and the magic trick of refrigeration, resulting in nothing short of amazing cookies.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 50 M

ingredients:

  • 220g / 2 cups cake flour
  • 200g / 1 2/3 cup bread flour
  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 5g / 1 tsp salt
  • 283g / 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 250g / 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 225g / 1 generous cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 9g / 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 566g / 20 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

instructions:

How to cook NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Whisk together cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Carefully incorporate chocolate chips. You may want to use a spoon as a stand mixer can crush the chocolate chips.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 24-72 hours.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C. Scoop cold dough out onto cookie sheets in 1" balls, or desired size. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt, if you like. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges turn a nice golden brown and centers still look a bit soft.

NOTES:

Why bread and cake flour? Bread flour has a higher gluten content and lends more crisp and chew to the cookies. Cake flour is finer and lends a delicate crumb. If you need these cookies the same day you are making the cookies, the refrigeration is not absolutely essential. When you place a dough in the fridge, the moisture in the dough is able to be evenly absorbed, then after a time begins to dry out, concentrating the flavors. Then, when you bake the cookies, the sugar is able to caramelize better. That is the beautiful golden brown color you see, and nutty flavor you taste. Also, a cold or refrigerated dough won't spread as much.

Calories

235.01

Fat (grams)

13.56

Sat. Fat (grams)

8.26

Carbs (grams)

24.83

Fiber (grams)

2.61

Net carbs

22.22

Sugar (grams)

11.36

Protein (grams)

3.66

Sodium (milligrams)

122.36

Cholesterol (grams)

24.84
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 1 cookie from a 40-cookie batch.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Burgundy Chocolate Cherry Cookies

September 24 feels like a very significant day.  You know, one of those days where you feel like it's someone's birthday (well, that's always true, even if you don't know them), a holiday, or something significant happened for you on that day.  But, I have nothing.  Except, this day last year Hannah Kelsey and I got off our first and hopefully last overnight train in Europe...terror....nope, not that.  Oh, it's the third day of autumn.  OH YEAH.  That's significant, we'll roll with that.  If you still have a nagging feeling like you're forgetting something, best wish everyone you meet a happy birthday, just in case...

...and make these cookies so it really didn't look like you forgot....worst case scenario it's no one's birthday and you have to eat them yourself...

...actually, it's always a good idea to have cookies on hand, whatever the occasion, if even just to say "Happy September 24!" Especially these ones.  Let me list some reasons for you.  Wine, chocolate, very chocolate, cherries, super chocolatey, and very chocolatey.  In fact, the batter is so chocolatey it makes the semi-sweet chocolate chips look like light milk chocolate.  But they are not.  So chocolatey. 

Burgundy Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cherries

Directions:

Oven 375 Fahrenheit. 

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl combine oil, sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Carefully stir in wine.  Stir in dry ingredients until fully incorporated, then add chocolate chips and cherries.  Batter will be soft, but shouldn't be too soupy.  If it is, just add a touch more flour.

Spoon little mounds onto a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, until edges look set but center still looks wet.  Allow to cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cool completely.

Pairs wonderfully with...the remainder of the bottle of wine you used to make these...

Jenny's Notes:

Feel free to use any kind of red wine you like for these!  I have used the an Italian red, Savini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva with great success, and the cookies in the photos I used a French red, Côtes du Rhône.  I chose to call these Burgundy because of the Burgundy wine region, which I think would be lovely in these, (the wine, not the region) and saying "Burgundy Cookies" is a whole lot easier than "Côtes du Rhône Cookies," no?  And, red (wine) plus brown (chocolate) makes burgundy.  Yes.  Maybe.   

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

I'm not sure where August went off to, but happy September!  Sometimes when I think too much about time, and how fast it goes by (and I'm still young by most people's standards!!) I get a little nostalgic.  I'm sorry future self, I hear it only gets worse!  However, when that happens, sometimes it's best to make cookies.  And eat a few.  A recipe for success! Sorry couldn't resist...

Now, if you followed my lead and made lots of caramel last week, (then I left you hanging and didn't blog for a while, so sorry.  It's called: Apartment hunting in Italy) then you were probably wondering what to do with all of it.  A little in coffee, a little for dipping, a little in the freezer for emergency situations, and some left over for....these salted caramel thumbprint cookies! Or if you opted for the eating by spoonful, no worries, the recipe is still up and you can just go make some more, fret not!

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Makes about 18 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Scant 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate or 1/3 cup chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 recipe caramel

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt. 

In a separate bowl, combine sugar and oil.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla, then mix in melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula as needed.  Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Dough will be soft.

Place dough in fridge for about 20-30 minutes, or until dough thickens enough to be rolled into balls.  Alternately, place in the freezer to speed up the process. 

Place some sugar in a small bowl.  Once dough has thickened, roll into about 1-inch balls, roll in sugar.  Press thumb into the center of each cookie, place on cookie sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes.  If centers have puffed up, remove from oven and press down again.  Return to oven and bake for 3-5 minutes more, until edges are cracked and set but center still looks soft.  Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool. 

When cookies are almost cool, spoon caramel into centers.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Always feel free to up the salt in recipes too, to taste.  (I just accidentally wrote "...feel free to up the caramel in recipes too..." haha.  That too, that too.  Always more caramel.)

Cookies still warm when caramel is added makes for ooey gooey drippy caramel...yes please!

Adapted from The Busty Baker

Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Coffee. What a beautiful word.  It incites such eager anticipation, excitement, thirst, and general burst of energy even before drinking said caffeinated beverage.  It's loved the world over, with different ways and preferences for roasting, preparing, and consuming, but in the end it's something we share together, with our family, friends, and our early mornings and foggy brains. 

My mom's coffee bar.  A nice mix of the Italian Moka pot on the left, an American drip coffee machine, Chemex, and a French Nespresso machine.

My mom's coffee bar.  A nice mix of the Italian Moka pot on the left, an American drip coffee machine, Chemex, and a French Nespresso machine.

In Italy coffee is a way of life.  More or less espresso, because if you order a caffé or caffé normale, you will get a shot of espresso.  Drip coffee, or so to speak "normal" coffee for Americans is rare to find here.  Almost all of their drinks are espresso based and served in small espresso cups, such as cappuccino, macchiato, ristretto, mocha, etc. Whereas our coffee is served in large mugs and not nearly as strong, usually the smallest size being a 12 oz if you go to a coffee shop.  If you think about it, the Americano is aptly named.  An Americano is watered down espresso.  And what is espresso?  Strong coffee.  So if you add water to strong coffee, what do you get?  A bigger cup of not as strong coffee, more similar to American coffee.  And we seem to like that quantity.  Soup bowls of it in the morning.  You know it, all the mugs that talk about "Don't talk to me before coffee," "Coffee First," and the likes.  And we go out for coffee dates with friends that last an hour, two, or three.  And that 20 oz mug of coffee will last for almost that long. 

In Italy, you go to a bar, order your coffee at the bar, and throw that espresso back within a minute or two.  Sometimes you sit down, but usually only if you are with someone and are at your leisure.  Un caffé, or espresso, only costs 1 euro usually, so it doesn't set you back too far.  You're not dropping $5 on an Ethiopian single origin organic latte with raw honey and cardamom with a twist of lemon.  Actually, that sounds really good right now.  

Un cappuccino from News Caffé in Florence

Un cappuccino from News Caffé in Florence

Not to infer that Italians always drink their coffee out and at the bar, especially when they drink it throughout the day; something with milk for breakfast, such as a cappuccino, espresso to finish off the other meals and at any other time of the day that tickles their fancy. They also prepare their own at home as well, usually involving the beloved Moka pot.  According to my Italian workbook, the average Italian drinks 600 cups of caffé and cappuccino per year, and of these cups 70% are drunk at home while only 20% are drunk at a bar, and 10% at work. 

Another interesting tidbit about espresso is that the word "espresso" is the Italian past tense of "esprimere" or "to express."  The Italians love to express themselves (but who doesn't?) and I like to think of it as just another way in which they do that, in their art and passion for creating and drinking coffee.  It also denotes express meaning the speed in which the beverage is both prepared and consumed.  The express lane.  So don't be too harsh on your friends when they call espresso "expresso."  They're actually not as far off as we think.  But still, be a good friend and correct them.

Does all this talk of coffee leave you wanting some?  Me too.  And cookies.  But I always want cookies.  You know those people who sport the mugs saying not to talk to them before coffee? Yeah, I can be that way before cookies.  So today, cookies with espresso in them!!!

Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 30 small cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground espresso beans, or ground coffee
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, mix together oil, brown and white sugar.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, and espresso powder until well combined.

Add the dry mixture and chocolate chips to wet mixture and mix until well combined. 

Drop dough by spoonful onto cookie sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes or until edges are set and center still looks a touch wet.  Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Jenny's Notes:

Only have white sugar or brown sugar on hand?  In a recipe such as this they can easily be substituted for each other.  You can use all white or all brown sugar.  In Italy true brown sugar is hard to find, and it usually has a strong molasses taste.  I frequently use all white sugar and eliminate the brown sugar here, I can't have all my desserts tasting like molasses and gingerbread and Christmas time!

Adapted from She Bakes Here

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Cioccolato Cioccolato Cioccolato!

Cioccolato Cioccolato Cioccolato!

Don't be fooled, these cookies are nothing more than a chocolate bar with a few added ingredients to allow them to be legally called "cookies."  In trying to decide what to call these, Chocolate Candy Bar Cookies and True Chocolate Cookies were contending, but I can thank Paul and Melinda Hand for calling them out for what they really taste like: fudgy brownies in cookie form!  Oh yes, they be so chocolatey, so fudgy, so soft. 

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp oil of choice (I prefer to use refined peanut oil for baking, it doesn't leave a taste in baked goods, has a high smoke point so it won't become rancid when baked or cooked with.  It is a healthier alternative to vegetable or canola oil, common oils called for in baking.)
  • 14 oz (or about 400g) chopped quality semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.

In a medium saucepan combine oil and half of the chopped chocolate, 7 oz or 200g.  Melt over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is mostly melted.  Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Set aside.

In a medium-large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.  Stir the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  It's okay if it is still a little warm. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir flour mixture and remaining 7 oz of chocolate chunks into chocolate mixture until well combined. 

Place the bowl with the chocolate mixture in the freezer for 15-25 minutes.  Check and stir the dough every 5 minutes or so until batter has thickened and set up.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop small spoonfuls of dough evenly spaced on the sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies as they will spread quite a bit.  If you can get 12 cookies on each sheet, you're on the right track.  

Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cookies start to crackle and the edges set. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack or plate.  Or counter.  Or mouth.  Whatever floats your boat with these!  Maybe just don't all of them or your boat will sink...

Oh, the symphony of crackle!

Oh, the symphony of crackle!

Adapted from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook