Monday, July 19, 2010


I've never really had the stomach for store bought cookies. Well, I take that back. I could eat an entire bag of Oreos in one sitting. But all the others I could do without. They're not even that good. They're dry, crunchy, and leave a weird taste in your mouth when you're finished. If I'm going to assume the punishment of creating a larger, rounder me, you better believe I'm going to make every calorie count. I'm not going to waste my precious sweets allowance on processed baked goods. Home baked, all the way.

Nabisco is now touting that their Chips Ahoy cookies are made with whole grains, and therefore, they are a smart snacking choice. Really? A cookie is smart choice? A cookie is a cookie my friends, no matter what kind of flour it's made with. And I'm pretty sure the fructose, high fructose corn syrup, sodium chloride and phytophosphates cancel out any health benefits that using whole grain might have given your mass produced, mediocre tasting cookie. Cookies are not a 'smart' snacking choice but choosing a home baked one is definitely a 'smarter' way to go.

I've been trying to leave my oven off as much as possible due to the weather, but I was gifted a brand new cookie recipe and have been dying to try it out. It's a Christmas cookie recipe but since we carved jack 'o lanterns in July, I thought Christmas in July would be just fine too. My sensational scrapbooking friend Brandi presented me with this:

Fancy, huh? Much nicer than the "wrote it on the back of an old billing statement with a Sharpie" recipe I'm used to passing along. She made these cookies for a cookie exchange we both participated in last year and they were my favorite cookie at the event. The original recipe calls for a sugar cookie mix but I altered it so that the entire confection would be from scratch. A bit more work, yes. But so SO worth it!

Fiesta Fudge Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup good-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, substitute 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Hershey's Peppermint Kisses


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in shortening (or additional butter). Add egg and vanilla; mix until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  3. Using one leveled tablespoonful of dough, shape mixture into balls. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm.
  4. Immediately press one peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie.Cool cookies on cookie sheet 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. To get candy to spread slightly on top of cookie, tap edge of each cookie lightly. Cool completely. Store covered at room temperature.
They didn't turn out exactly like Brandi's did...probably because I didn't use a mix. Mine were a little flatter and took a little longer to cook but the chocolate/peppermint combination was still there and still scrumptious. And they were completely free of questionable ingredients. Well, the kisses have chemical stabilizers but I'll shut up now before I suck all the fun out of it. These home baked treats are a much better choice than anything you could buy at the store.

If you decide to try this recipe, keep an eye on the baking time. My oven is wonky at times and I could be feeding you completely false baking times. That's just how long it took my oven TODAY. This was a great recipe for the kiddos to help with. All those kisses had to be unwrapped and it was a perfect job for little fingers. But be warned! Those wee hands seemed to float straight from the wrapper to their open mouths so you should consider purchasing two bags of kisses. I'm certain some of them will just up and disappear...


  1. Yummy!!!!! Those look delicious, and the scrapbooked recipe is wonderful!

  2. A woman after my heart...when I make cookies, I make applesauce as sweetener. Butter, sugar, chocolate, flour...good stuff! Throw in some kisses? Even better! Your daily entries to the giveaway are making me giggle...I have half a mind to just knit you a darn hat whether you win or not (kind of like the Miss Congeniality prize, you know??...except you're Miss Perseverance and Optimism! Thanks for brightening my day.

  3. Here in Australia many people celebrate Christmas in July. It's our way of having a 'hot dinner' with pudding etc. Many still do that at Christmas also, but when it's 40C, it's not as enjoyable!
    Also, I agree, if you're going to have cookies, at least have real sugar and fat, not the artificial rubbish from the shop-made version.

  4. They look so good! Even at 7:30 in the morning. Really, I could eat homemade cookies anytime!