Apparently I have too much time on my hands (oops, busted a button laughing at that one), because I've decided to make a new cookie recipe (and perhaps a few candies) every day of December, up until Christmas Day. Whee!
I love my added work ethic.
Fear not; I will post other items along the way, but to me, Christmas just isn't Christmas without some baking frenzy. Blame it all on my dear mother, who made countless cookies, fudge, and feasts for Christmas and Boxing Day every advent. And if she did it all by hand. That's right; she used no mixer my friends, but rather a wooden spoon (for crying out loud), for creaming pounds and pounds of butter. And yes, she is awesome.
Don't worry; I'm sticking to my enlightened agenda for the sweets. No need to settle on all-elastic waistbands just yet.
First up, mini chocolate brownie cupcakes (I'm counting these as cookies) with Turkish coffee flavors (cardamom & espresso). They are moist and fudgy, thanks to the dates, and keep well for up to a week. Play with the flavors as much as you like; leave out the Turkish flavors entirely or create new pairings (perhaps chocolate peppermint or chocolate tangerine?).
Mini Chocolate-Cardamom Brownie Cupcakes
These freeze like a charm. Good luck making them last.
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/3 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray the cups of 12-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Bring the water, espresso powder, and dates to a boil in a medium saucepan. Transfer mixture to a food processor; add the cocoa powder and chocolate; pulse to combine. Let cool 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, cardamom, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until smooth. Add flour and pulse just until incorporated.
Divide batter into prepared cups. Bake 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn right side up and cool completely. Makes 6 servings (2 pieces per serving)
Nutrition per Serving (2 brownie cupcakes):
Calories 108; Fat 5.0g (poly .98g, mono 2.4g, sat 1.4g); Protein 3g; Fiber: 1.9 g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 15g.