A very festive dough, with berries, nuts, and chips, and very chocolatey cookies! These are a nice treat to ward off winter blues.

Everything Chocolate Cookies



The dough for these cookies is especially festive and colorful in part because the recipe contains shredded carrots -- however you will hardly notice these in the finished cookies (although the carrots make the cookies require a few more minutes to bake and the cookies remain a bit colorful). There are a few cranberries in these too, plus nuts and chips! This is a great way to get children their carrots and vitamin A.

There is enough cocoa for chocoholics in these, plus a hint of orange and spice. The orange zest is absolutely delicious in these too. While these cookies are sweet, they are not too sweet.

So warm the winter blues away by baking, then settle down with a mug of hot wassail or punch, and some freshly baked cookies. Lining the tin makes removing these cookies easy!


The Recipe

Oven: 375 degrees f. (that's if you are using an industrial-strength baking tin; if you use a thinner tin, you may want to turn your oven down 5 degrees and/or bake a minute or two less). This recipe makes about 21 cookies.

Ingredients

Steps

  1. Oil and dust a baking tin (or two or three; the most I can juggle is about three tins) with cornstarch or tapioca or cornmeal. Line the tin with wax paper or parchment and lightly oil and dust that.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, cocoa; if you use ground nutmeg instead of grating it fresh, sift that in here too; don't use more than 1 tsp of ground nutmeg).
  3. Cream together sugar/honey and oil.
  4. Beat in egg or substitute till the mixture gets lighter and a little airy.
  5. Stir in nutmeg, vanilla, orange zest, and hot pepper.
  6. Stir in flour/dry ingredients, alternating with orange juice (and any yogurt).
  7. Fold in shredded carrots, diced cranberries, chips, and walnuts.
  8. Drop rounded tablespoons onto tin, and press each cookie lightly with spoon. The cookies should be flat and disk shaped, but still about a quarter of an inch thick. (These cookies will not spread much but you should allow a little space between cookies).
  9. Bake about 14 to 15 minutes or until edges are fairly firm (the cookies will be semi-soft when hot because of the cocoa and chips). (If your oven is hot or you use a thinner tin, you may wish to check these a bit sooner.)
  10. Cool cookies a minute or two before removing.

Notes and Tips

To measure 1/3 cup oil plus 1/6 cup peanut butter, measure out the oil first, then pour it into a 1/2-cup measuring cup and add peanut butter till the oil is level with the top of the cup! Then use the 1/3-cup measure to measure out any honey. The oil at the bottom will make the honey slide out a bit more easily.

Make sure to use only the freshest cranberries in this recipe (if your cranberries smell more like vinegar or pop and crack when you squeeze them gently they are no longer fresh; and any that are actually soft, like jello, should of course always be discarded). Washing and picking through cranberries as soon as you buy them makes them keep much longer too! If you cannot get cranberries (however many larger towns will keep some in stock till New Year's), try finely diced tart apples, or finely diced cherries (a bit sweeter), and/or increasing the nuts, chips, and shredded carrots.

Tapioca, a starch made from the cassava root, tastes a bit more flavorful than cornstarch. It's a good cornstarch substitute and not too expensive. It's also extremely digestible for those with digestive problems, plus a great gluten-free addition to cake and cookie recipes (use it to replace up to half of the flour; it holds together well in quick breads and is very light).

Happy Holidays!