Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate Cookies

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I love the taste of the brownies I make from Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate, so I figured that there must be a good cookie recipe using this product. But, after much searching, I didn’t find much that looked promising. So, I made one up. My goal was to have a really easy recipe I could make with my 4-year old granddaughter. Many chocolate cookie recipes require you to refrigerate the dough before forming the cookies. Not this one! Without a 4- year old assistant, you could probably make these in 10 minutes. Really easy! And good. Chewy, chocolatey, and they freeze well too.

Ingredients for 30- 2″ cookies
1 cup Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate (not cocoa)
1 ¾ cups flour
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini M&M’s (or chocolate chips, or chopped nuts or any combo)

Pre-heat oven to 350o

Using stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again, 30 seconds.

Sift together flour, ground chocolate, baking powder, baking soda, salt. While mixing wet ingredients, add dry ingredients gradually. The mixture may seem too dry and crumbly – don’t worry! By hand, mix in half the mini M&M’s. Turn over dough in bowl and knead very gently until mixture starts to come together in one mass. The butter will end up holding it all together.

Use a small dough scoop to place dough on parchment lined cookie sheet, or pinch off tablespoon sized chunks, and roll gently and briefly to form smooth ball about 1 1/4” in diameter. Drop about 2” apart (they will spread during baking). I barely fit 15 on to 2 large cookie sheets. Place the other half of the M&Ms on top of the dough, and gently press them into the top of your cookie after forming the ball on the cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Don’t overbake or let them darken too much – they are better soft and chewy. Cool on cookie sheet on rack.


Banana Oatmeal Muffins – high protein, low fat, low sugar

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I wanted to surprise Susi with something freshly baked this morning, and the bananas just called out. I challenged myself to make a healthier version of muffin, and the results were very good. This recipe made 18 muffins, only because I used round numbers for ingredients. To increase to 24 muffins, multiply each ingredient by approx. 1.33.

The protein comes from milk, eggs, whey, oatmeal, and there is some protein in the flour and walnuts too. I’m not a nutrition analyst, but adding it up, I’d say there was 6-7 grams of protein in each muffin. This is relatively low fat and low sugar too. If you don’t want to use Splenda, add another 1/4 cup brown sugar.

Ingredients for 18 muffins:

2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Whey protein powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Eggs
1/2 cup Brown sugar
2 tbsp Maple syrup
5 packets Splenda
2 tbsp vegetable oil (canola, safflower, or similar)
1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup low fat milk
2 mashed bananas
2 cups quick cook oats
1 cup walnuts, diced

Topping: 2 tbsp each:
Butter, melted
Oats
Sugar
walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with 18 muffin papers.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, whey, cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, Splenda until silky, about 1 minute. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk, stirring with whisk, finishing with dry. Add mashed banana, then gently fold in oats and walnuts with spatula. Don’t over mix – you will limit the rise in the oven.

Fill muffin cups to below the top (these rise well). Mix together topping ingredients with a fork, and scrape into muffin cups, keeping the topping a bit loose.

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Baked on middle rack for 15-18 minutes, until an inserted tester just comes out dry. Cool on rack.

By the way, Susi didn’t just get a muffin. There was also an omelet, with crimini mushrooms, scallions, Canadian bacon, avocado, cilantro, and jack and cheddar cheese. 🙂


Friday Inspiration – Resolutions Edition

disconnect - connect

Since we are in a new year, I thought I’d frame this week’s inspiration in the form of what we need to let go, and what we want to get – Things to disconnect FROM, and things to connect TO.

Happy New Year!