Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tis the Season

I found them at last!

Each Christmas season M&M's put out their mint holiday mix, but a bag is not easy to come upon. I was beginning to think they discontinued the product and had actually settled on a bag of Nestle's dark chocolate and mint chips while shopping at Target. Unexpectedly I found them at CVS a few days later and they were on sale buy 1 get 1 free!

It's just something about mint and dark chocolate, I've always loved the least in the form of M&M's, Junior Mints, and York Peppermint Patties. I wasn't so sure about the Nestle's chips.

But tis the season for baking and I've definitely been in the baking mood this week so I decided on Mint Chocolate Delights. I ended up sticking to the recipe on Nestle Toll House's website except I used 1c whole wheat pastry flour and 1 c of all purpose rather than 2c all purpose. I love whole wheat pastry flour, you really can't tell the difference in baked goods but it bumps up your fiber intake.

I finally made use of my baking stone which I received as a gift last Christmas. If you have never baked on stoneware, you are missing out! Everything cooks evenly, food rarely burns and you don't need to add cooking spray, butter, etc to prevent sticking (which is particularly nice for vegan baking).

Cookies were amazing, so moist, and with a nice hint of mint-I was scared it would be mint overload.

I also made Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles using a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, with a few of my own substitutions. Spice pairs with mint right?

For the topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cookies:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup I used 1/8 cup maple syrup and 1/8 cup of Agave nectar
3 tablespoons almond milk (Or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract I used almond but you can also just use more vanilla
1 2/3 cups flour Used 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 2/3 cup all purpose
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

They're really simple, basically mix sugar, syrup, milk, and extracts with a fork. Then sift in the remaining ingredients.

Roll the dough into walnut size ball and roll them in the cinnamon sugar mix.
Place rolled dough 2" apart, dough will spread! Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 (If using a stone, allow a few extra minutes for the first batch since the stone takes time to heat).

How pretty are these cookies and they're so yummy too! As I've mentioned before my roommate and I love spicy food in every shape and form and these cookies definitely turn it up a notch. Also if you're weary of vegan baked goods, give these cookies a try, you'll never know that they're sans animal products!
Ok, need to get some studying in before heading to 2 holiday parties tonight!


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