It’s been a while… [recipe]

I’ve neglected the cookie blog for way too long and I apologize! I’ve been really busy with lots of recipe making (which will be done in less than a month, by the way). The next step after that will be finding a publisher and creating this book! It’s all quite overwhelming, so if anyone has advice about the endeavor of getting published, I’m all ears!

In the meantime, Happy Holidays! I’ve included the recipe for my Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars, the perfect thing to make in the winter.

Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars

Makes 2-3 dozen

Whoa, man! These are pure chocolate and peppermint bliss! They’re not all that difficult or time consuming either, despite having three layers. They do call for a lot of chocolate chips, but feel free to halve the recipe and make in an 8×4-inch bread pan. Don’t even wait for the holidays to make these.

Bottom Layer:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup soy milk
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 scant cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Peppermint Cream:
1/2 cup margarine
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3-4 drops green food coloring (optional, but attractive)
2 tablespoons soy milk, plus more if needed

Chocolate Layer:
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bottom Layer: Melt the chocolate chips either in the microwave or in a glass bowl placed in boiling water. Remove from heat and stir in the soy milk and the cocoa powder. Cream together margarine and sugar with a strong fork, then add in the chocolate/soy milk/cocoa mixture and stir until incorporated. Add the vanilla, then the flour and salt. No need to sift.
In an 8×8-inch baking pan LINED WITH PARCHMENT PAPER (I cannot stress enough the importance), press out the dough evenly. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the center is firm and the edges are done, then cool.

Peppermint Cream: Meanwhile, cream together the margarine and powdered sugar. Add in the peppermint extract and food coloring (if using). Gradually add the soy milk until the mixture kind of resembles frosting. If it’s liquid, add more powdered sugar. If it’s stiff or dry, add more soy milk. Chill in the fridge until the bottom layer is cooled.

Chocolate Layer (Make this at the last minute): Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a glass bowl in boiling water, or over a double boiler.

Assembly: Spread the bottom layer evenly with peppermint cream, then chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Remove, then spread the top with the chocolate, creating a swirl pattern if you like. The chocolate will not spread out evenly due to the peppermint layer, but if you want it to be smooth, do a second layer of chocolate, halving the chocolate layer ingredients.
Let set, then cut as you like and enjoy!

(I also took a little hiatus from cookies to make a grinch gingerbread house!)


Very British [recipe]

Jammy Dodgers

This classic British cookie has gone vegan!
Jammy Dodgers

Jammy Dodgers

English Toffee Squares

These are veganized from an old family recipe!
English Toffee Squares

English Toffee Squares

Makes 25 squares

1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour

1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or a mixture)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream together the margarine and brown sugar with electric beaters. Add the vanilla.
Gradually sift in the flour and stir until incorporated.

Press dough into an 8×8-inch* nonstick (or lined with parchment) baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes until firm and golden. Don’t take them out too early or they won’t get crispy and toffee-like.

Remove from oven and uniformly sprinkle the chocolate chips in the pan. Return to the oven for about 30 seconds so the chocolate is melty and spreadable. Using a knife, spread the chocolate evenly over the cookie layer. Sprinkle with the nuts, then let cool (the fridge or freezer helps with this if you’re in a hurry) so the chocolate firms up. Cut into 25 squares and transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

*This recipe can be halved and baked in a 8×4-inch loaf pan.