What do you get when you combine peppermint fudge and chocolate cookies? These delicious bites. They are a rich fudge spread over a cookie crumb shell to make them a decadent and elegant treat. And there is no baking involved. Decadent and easy – no need to say more.
The recipe I adapted these from was already non-dairy so I didn’t need to make those types of changes. No baking meant it didn’t need high altitude adjustments. The changes I made were to help them stick together for easier eating and presentation. I added coconut oil to the cookie shell for stability, and I added more milk to the fudge for pourability. Also, I made them in paper cups and in a muffin tin. They both worked out, but I find the paper cup is more festive and easier to hold if you are sharing them with others. If you’re not sharing, then you can just mash them up and eat them. I don’t judge.
Peppermint Fudge Cookie Bites based on Chocolate Mint Fudge Tartlets
1 TBS + ½ cup vegan chocolate chips, divided
4.5 ounces gluten-free crunchy chocolate cookies, processed into fine crumbs
1 TBS coconut oil, melted
¼ cup + ½ tsp almond milk
¼ tsp peppermint extract
Melt 1 TBS chocolate chips over a double boiler. Put cookies crumbs in a bowl with melted coconut oil, then add the melted chocolate. Stir until thoroughly combined and mixture resembles wet sand. Divide cookie crumb mixture between 12 lined mini muffin cups. Drop a spoonful of crumb mixture into each cup and press into bottoms and lightly up the sides.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Turn heat off but leave the bowl of melted chocolate over the hot water. Whisk milk and peppermint extract into the bowl. Pour chocolate-mint filling into cookie crusts. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes. May be stored in a covered container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
The cookie monster reared its head, so I searched through my recipes for something new. I saw sugar cookies and ginger cookies and nut cookies, but knew the cookie had to have chocolate. And then my brain morphed a few ideas together and decided on chocolate mint.
The only consideration I had to take for high altitude was to add extra liquid for the dry atmosphere. I borrowed a bit from this recipe and then that, but I used vegan ones from the start so I didn’t have to make changes. After it all came together the scent of the dough reminded me of mint fudge. My kitchen smells like Christmas in July.
Cocoa Peppermint Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
8 TBS vegan margarine
1 cup organic sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 TBS non-dairy chocolate milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, salt, and cocoa powder. In a stand mixer, beat margarine until smooth. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add extracts and chocolate milk and beat until fluffy. Slowly add flour mixture to margarine mixture. Beat until well combined. Place cookies 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes then move parchment paper with cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen one-bite cookies.
I have been craving the combination of chocolate and peppermint for weeks. I have also been dying to try baking with the vegan egg substitute called Aquafaba (more on that in a few days). There was a recipe I found a few months ago that used Aquafaba in a chocolate cake. I offered to high altitude it to get my sweets fix, but I swapped out a peppermint frosting to make the lovely holiday pairing of peppermint and chocolate.
The original recipe was gluten-free, but I thought I’d tackle Aquafaba solo in order to test how it works. Maybe I’ll try the cake gluten-free when I feel like wrestling that type of baking. Besides changing the flour, I added flour and liquids for high altitude. The interesting thing I discovered was that the batter seemed thicker like a traditional batter with eggs. The cake was moist and tasty and fantastic with the frosting.
The fire was roaring as I completed the cake so I thought it would be a nice setting for a picture. I learned that fire and frosting don’t play well together. Melted or not, it still tasted great.
The Coconut Sugar and Cacao Powder were provided to me by Navitas Naturals to test in my kitchen. I am not paid to use their products or endorse them.
Candy Cane Chocolate Cake adapted from the Plant Strong Vegan Cake
6 TBS chickpea liquid (Aquafaba)
2 TBS ground flaxseeds
¾ cup + 1 TBS soymilk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup + 1 TBS all-purpose flour
1 cup Navitas Naturals Coconut Sugar
⅓ cup Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract Frosting
8 oz. vegan cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
crushed candy canes for garnish
Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly grease and dust with cacao powder a 8×8” pan. In a bowl whisk together Aquafaba and ground flaxseeds. Let sit for 10 minutes. In another bowl whisk together soymilk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cacao powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients (coconut oil, vanilla extract, milk + apple cider vinegar, Aquafaba + flax) into dry and whisk until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake on center rack for 40 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with sides of the cake pulling away from pan. Remove cake from oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
While cake is cooling, prepare frosting by stirring all ingredients together until smooth. Let chill until needed. Turn cooled cake out onto a cake plate. Frost and garnish. Store leftovers in an air-tight container, in fridge, for up to 4 days.
The first hurdle to this recipe was finding candy canes after Christmas. Fortunately, the rest came pretty easy.
I applied some high altitude science to the recipe and added a bit of flour. To make it vegan I replaced the eggs with soy yogurt – this added moisture so I reduced the water instead of increasing it. Then I boosted the healthiness by using whole wheat flour for some of the white flour, agave nectar for the corn syrup, and less of the sugary topping. Then, because I love mint, I used peppermint extract in place of some vanilla.
My first attempt made so many changes that I was unsure, but the texture, crumb, look and taste were achieved on the first try. Much to my surprise and excitement they were fantastic. In fact, I have dubbed them the best cookie I have ever made (so far).
Chocolate Mint Cookies adapted from Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies in Joanne Fluke‘s “Candy Cane Murder” cookie dough
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/4 sticks vegan margarine, chilled
1 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup plain soy yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS + 2 tsp light agave syrup
1 tsp water
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp whole wheat flour topping
2 TBS vegan sugar
6 mini candy canes, finely crushed
Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter and chocolate together in a pan over low heat on the stovetop. Mix and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk to combine sugar and yogurt. Add baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add agave syrup, water and extracts. Mix well. Add cooled chocolate mixture and mix with a spoon. Add all-purpose flour and mix. Add whole wheat flour and mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a few minutes while you make the topping.
Place candy canes in a small bowl. Add sugar and mix with a fork. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Take dough and roll it into walnut-sized balls with your hands. The dough may be sticky so roll only enough for the cookies you can bake immediately then place bowl in the refrigerator. Roll dough balls in topping and place on a cookie sheet, 12 balls to a sheet. Flatten slightly with your hand. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies (this is after I halved the original recipe).
It was tough but I saved a few to freeze. I’ll check back on them soon to see how they fared.