Maybe you think that brownies are the last thing you need in January. But maybe you are wrong.
Category Archives: Cookies & Bars
Sometimes, you just need to make some very impressive cookies. Like when you are baking for the entire faculty at your university in honor of the new president. These cookies will make you look very impressive. Especially if you brush them with chocolate and cut them out with a tiny fluted cookie cutter.
Like many delicious things (Popsicles spring to mind), these treats were a happy accident. I didn’t leave soda outside though. I was making adorable heart-shaped rice krispie treats when I realized I needed to make vegetarian-friendly treats as well. Because it is ridiculously cold out, I didn’t want to go out and search for vegan marshmallows or Fluff or something I wasn’t going to use again.
As usual, the internet came through with something delicious! If you don’t eat corn syrup, I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve seem some recipes with some kind of brown rice syrup…I’m not sure I can recommend it because I’ve never worked with it.
I don’t have photos of them, just of their pink gelatin-based cousins. But I assure you, they were a big hit and anything shaped like a heart is always adorable.
Apparently, all I had actually accomplished was typing up the recipe. The story behind these cookies is actually a bit longer than the recipe though. In the beginning of October, whilst out grocery shopping at BJs (a wholesale club, for those not in the know), I realized we hadn’t yet bought Halloween candy. Why I thought it would be a good idea to buy Halloween candy in bulk, I am not sure. The point is that we ended up with 175 individual York Peppermint Patties. And not a single trick o’ treater.
We weren’t in fact home during the scheduled Halloween session so that is partially our fault. But why do kids trick o’ treat between 5-6 pm nowadays? Very strange. Anyways, we thought we’d be ok. After all, mints tend to prevent overindulgence. Or so we thought. My impressive stamina in the quest for all thins sugary shocked us both. Quickly, I began to search for a recipe which would allow me to use up some of our stash.
Peppermint patty ice cream? Sounds heavenly but I have no ice cream maker.
Peppermint patty cake? Well, it’s really just chocolate cake with peppermints on top, plus it is a paint to serve.
Peppermint patty cookies? Now that could work. And They would be easy to share.
And so I have.
Chewy Peppermint Cookies
Adapted from Alice Medrich via Orangette
4 tbsp butter, melted
2/3 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
7 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 c flour
1/3 c yogurt, plain (I use nonfat)
½ c York Peppermint Patties, cut into quarters
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. This is a must!
Combine butter and sugars in a large bowl. Sift in cocoa powder and blend well. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir. The dough will become very thick indeed. Carefully add the yogurt. Once the dough is uniform, stir in the Peppermint Patties. Try not to crush them completely, though some casualties are to be expected.
Scoop out about 1 inch balls of dough. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the tops look set. After 5 minutes or so, transfer the cookies to a rack and allow to cool completely. Hopefully, they will have set up enough. They can be rather structurally weak if the Patties have melted out (this is also why we lined the baking sheets!)
Yeah, you read that right. I put marshmallow on top of a brownie. It’s kind of awesome. It may be the main reason I got my job. But seriously, these brownies are less dangerous than they seem.
They are magical brownies. Reduced fat but dense and chocolate-y. Almost bittersweet with a burnt marshmallow topping. Job seekers out there: I say bring this to your interview and see what happens 😉
Book of the Month: Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
If you are going to be trapped inside by frigid temperatures and gusting winds, why not set about tackling a great literary masterpiece? I will admit Proust took me several tries to finish. However, it was not due to lack of interest. It was due to lack of time.
If you are in a hurry and need a quick dessert, I would suggest madeleines. Of course, I couldn’t really pick something different if I was going to be discussing Proust. But these are also very tasty treats and I have found the recipe to be a complete success every time I use it.
Speaking of lack of time, I apologize for these photos. I baked them in the middle of the night, which was not really the best time. But considering how tasty they are, I don’t regret it.
Normally, I object to Christmas music and decorations before Thanksgiving. Christmas decorations should, for no reason, be in stores before Halloween. I love the holiday season but everything in its own time. However, one bite of these cookies changed my mind. I have been humming Christmas carols all week now. Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.
These cookies are really rather incredible. Rolling them in turbinado sugar adds a nice crunchy texture. The candied ginger and black pepper excite the palate. They may be overwhelming to those of timid tongues but I always have loved a strong ginger flavor in everything. They are wonderful throughout the fall but I think that they will really be stars at cookie swaps in a few weeks.