If I had to choose, my all time favorite Holiday treat would probably be Peppermint Chocolate Bark. Something about eating it just tastes like happiness and Holiday time, and the chocolate + peppermint combo is so refreshing, decadent, and just delicious!
If I had to choose a favorite baked good, it would probably be cookies. Brownies are definitely up there. and clearly so is banana bread, but I think cookies take the cake, no pun intended (who's with me with cupcakes way at the bottom?!).
That must be why the other morning I woke up with the BIGGEST CRAVING EVER (no exaggeration, ever) for Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. I had about 1 hour until I needed to leave for work, but I NEEDED to eat a Chocolate Peppermint Cookie first. So, without any prep or time to look up any recipes, I whipped these up and couldn't be happier with how they turned out!
For "flour" in these cookies, I used half oat flour and half almond flour. The reason? I couldn't decide between the 2, and I didn't feel like making a decision. So I went half/half. They turned out well like that, but I think going full on just one would also work. Just oat flour might lead to a bit of a fluffier cookie. I have other recipes that combine the 2 flours as well, like my Berry Crumble Bars or this Berry Cinnamon Cake, and those come out just perfect each time!
Then, for the wet ingredients, I used coconut oil + maple syrup, instead of the more traditional butter & sugar. If you want to tell me, "Coconut oil still has fat, and maple syrup still has sugar", then I would respond, "Thank you for that stunning revelation! I will also have you note that coconut oil has a ton of nutritional benefits, as does Maple Syrup, beyond their fat and sugar content." Fat and sugar are not necessarily so damaging to your health, so much as foods that are completely void of any nutritional value whatsoever, like refined sugar. Yes, Maple Syrup does contain (naturally occurring) sugars, but it also contains tons of zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, etc... Does your white sugar contain any of that?! No. Do you see where I am going with this? Ok, rant over and back to these cookies...
Then, you add an egg in the coco oil + maple syrup mixture, which helps the cookies hold together. I haven't tested with a Flax Egg to make this recipe vegan, but I don't see why that wouldn't work. Add a tiny splash of vanilla and some peppermint extract, and voila! Your kitchen already smells amazing.
Fold the flours and some cacao or cocoa powder into the wet mixture, store in the fridge to "firm up" and then you've got cookies! It's very aesthetically pleasing when these are topped with chopped up candy canes, but I wanted to keep mine completely sugar free. If you are a big fan of presentation, I would highly recommend sprinkling some candy canes on top!
Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
By The Granola Diaries
- ½ C Oat Flour (or Almond flour)
- ½ C Almond Flour (or Oat flour)
- ¼ C Cacao Powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ C Coconut oil, room temp
- ½ C Maple Syrup
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Peppermint Extract
- ¼ C Chocolate Chips, or crushed up Mint Chocolate Bar (I used the one from Loving Earth)
- Optional: Crushed up candy cane for sprinkling on top
- Whisk coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl until well combined. Add egg and extracts, and whisk to combine everything.
- Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl, stir them together on top, then incorporate into the wet mixture, folding with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Let mixture sit in fridge to for ~10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. When ready, roll the dough into ~ 1" balls, place on baking sheet, and press down slightly. Should make 10 - 12 cookies, depending on size.
- Bake for 13 minutes, or until edges are firm and cookie is cooked through. Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with crushed candy canes, if desired. Allow to cool completely. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for 1 week or the freezer for a few months!
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