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Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re here for day ten of the Lemon & Mocha 12 Days of Cookies! Even though I have three more recipes scheduled to post before the end of 2019, the post for these Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies that you are reading now is the last one I wrote right before my post-baby blog break started!

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The only reason I was shuffling around the kitchen baking these cookies in my compression socks and the last remaining outfit that would fit over my big belly was because I had to wait for the red and green M&M’s to arrive in the stores. I wanted them to look pretty and festive for the photos, especially since the post is so close to Christmas. Usually I’m the first to shake my head when I see grocery stores putting holiday items out months in advance, but of course this time I was actually complaining about them not having Christmas items out early! Go figure.

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

So let’s talk about these Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies. They’re buttery, chewy and definitely chocolate-packed. I’m declaring these cookies the chocolate chip cookie lover’s perfect holiday-spiced cookie.

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

They have the same soft, chewy texture and buttery brown sugar flavor you get from chocolate chip cookies, plus the added bonus of gingerbread flavors through molasses, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Also, between the chocolate chips and the M&M’s they are chock-full of chocolate goodness.

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The good news is, as my swollen feet/ankles/calves/aka everything-below-my-belly can attest to, these cookies are super simple to whip up so you can be done in the kitchen and kicked back eating platefuls of Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies in no time! Enjoy!

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies
 
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 10-ounce bag M&M’s (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar, for rolling
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves and salt until combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and molasses on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture then beat on low speed until only a few flour streaks remain. Add the M&M’s and chocolate chips (leaving some aside - we’ll press these into the rolled balls so they look pretty!) and stir until just combined. Scoop out 1½ tablespoons of dough (if using Oxo cookie scoops use a medium cookie scoop) and roll into a ball. Roll the ball into the granulated sugar then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining cookie dough. Lightly press an M&M and a chocolate chip into the top of each cookie ball. This will make sure they look nice and pretty!
  5. Bake for 12 minutes then let cool on the cookie sheet placed on a wire cooling rack for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to the wire cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with 1 cookie sheet for the remaining cookie dough.

Recipe adapted from Something Swanky.

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last holiday season I was experimenting with a bunch of new cookie recipes and I wanted to try something that was a little lighter. I instantly thought of meringue cookies since they are definitely light and have that sort of melt in your mouth texture about them. I didn’t want to just make plain meringue cookies though; what’s the fun in that?!

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though I don’t drink coffee I like coffee flavored desserts, especially if they’re paired with chocolate, so I went seeking out a coffee flavored meringue recipe. Thankfully it led me to this delicious espresso meringue kiss cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour. So for day nine of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies we have Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses.

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Making meringue cookies is actually really simple and requires only a few ingredients. Egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, espresso powder, coffee extract and sugar are beaten until you have stiff and glossy peaks. Making sure the peaks of your meringue are stiff is key otherwise they will start deflating and not holding their shape when you go to pipe them out into the star kiss shapes. Alternatively, you could always just drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto your baking sheet; they don’t need to be perfect!

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

The finicky part of meringue cookies is the cooking and cooling since they cook on a really low temperature for quite a while and then have to sit in the cooling oven after it’s turned off for a few more hours. However, once they’re done, you get to dip them into melted chocolate for that espresso mocha flavor combination that is out of this world. The cookies are crispy, light and good luck eating just one!

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses
 
Yield: about 54
Ingredients
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon coffee extract
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more as needed
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy. Add the espresso, extract and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe 54 cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Alternatively, you could drop heaping teaspoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheets.
  5. Bake the meringues for 1½-2 hours, switching pans from top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Meringues are done when they are barely dry on the outside and soft in the middle. Turn off the oven and let cookies cool in the oven for 1-3 hours.
  6. Put the chocolate chips and the vegetable oil in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring at 15-second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Dip the bottoms of the meringues into the melted chocolate and let the excess drip off. Set on a baking sheet lined with wax paper to allow the chocolate to harden. You can speed up the hardening time if you put them in the fridge. Repeat for all the meringues, melting more chocolate as needed.

Recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember the Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies? Of course you do. I shared the recipe three weeks ago and they were fudgey and chocolatey and exceptionally delicious. I made the recipe from my Food52 Genius Desserts cookbook and I figured if the first cookie recipe I tried was that good that I definitely needed to bake another cookie recipe from the cookbook before the cookie season was through.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

So, today, on day eight of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies, I’m sharing the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle. This cookie brittle is for all the crispy cookie fans out there. The cookie dough is baked in a half sheet pan and then cracked into pieces once it’s cooled.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

This unconventional cookie requires an unconventional cookie dough. In this case, the cookie dough doesn’t have any eggs or any leavening ingredients. In fact, we’re just combining melted butter, turbinado sugar, flour, vanilla and salt and spreading it super thinly onto that half sheet pan. Don’t forget the chocolate chips!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since this is a stripped down type of cookie with plenty of chocolate chips you’re definitely going to want to use high quality chocolate. Stick with semisweet or bittersweet; my go-to brands are Ghiradelli or Guittard.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt couldn’t get enough of this crispy, crunchy confection and I’m glad to have found another hit from my cookbook. This cookie brittle won’t be replacing my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies anytime soon since I’m more of a soft and chewy cookie fan, but if you’re looking for a crispy cookie fix then this Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle is just what you need!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle
 
Yield: about 3 dozen pieces
Ingredients
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring in 20 second intervals until the butter is almost fully melted. Alternatively, you could melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, making sure you don’t let it come to a boil. Whisk until the butter is melted and the sugar has mostly dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk until the mixture is thick, smooth and doesn’t look separated, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and salt, whisk until combined. Add the flour and stir with a spatula until no streaks remain.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a rimmed ungreased half sheet pan (about 12-inch x 17-inch) and use your hands to pat it into a thin, even layer. It won’t look like you’re going to have enough dough to completely fill the pan, but you will. Keep pressing the dough to the edges; the layer will be very thin. Once you’ve filled the pan, use an offset spatula to smooth the top before sprinkling the chocolate chips all over. Lightly press the chocolate chips down with your hands.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes (rotating the pan every 7-8 minutes), or until light golden brown and slightly firm. Place the baking sheet on a wire cooling rack and let cool completely in the pan. Use a thin spatula to loosen the edges of the brittle from the baking sheet then break into pieces and let the pieces cool completely on the wire cooling rack, while trying to avoid smudging the chocolate chips. Alternatively, if the brittle is already completely cool you can put the pieces straight into an airtight container with layers of wax paper or parchment paper in between the brittle layers and store at room temperature.

Recipe from Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake.
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Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

You knew I couldn’t stay away from the chocolate for too long! I’m catching us all up on chocolate by providing double the chocolate today. For day seven of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies I present to you Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies! They should really be called double chocolate double peppermint cookies since, you guessed it, there’s both double the chocolate and double the peppermint, but I figured one “double” would work just as well.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do these round, dark and slightly crispy cookies look familiar? If they do, it’s because we’re using the same cookie base from the Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops recipe. Back in February, Matt and I couldn’t get enough of the buttery dark chocolate cookies. The first time I posted this cookie base I described them as a buttery version of the Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle and that is so spot on. Except this time, we’re dipping them in peppermint-flavored melted semisweet chocolate and sprinkling crushed candy canes on top to make them extra festive.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

A couple months ago I shared these cookies with some friends and they were a big hit. I love when recipes like these are a big hit. And by recipes like these I mean recipes that are easy! So easy!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

First of all, the cookie dough comes together in a food processor. I use this 14-cup food processor by Cuisinart. The dough is pulsed together then cold butter cubes are added and you continue to pulse until the dough completely comes together, just like if you were making a pie crust. Cold butter also means no waiting for ingredients to come to room temperature – hurray!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I made the cookie pops, the cookie dough was rolled out, but to simplify things even more I’ve adjusted these to be made as slice-and-bake cookies. The dough comes out of the food processor and is rolled into a log in plastic wrap. Pop it into the fridge overnight or until firm and then it’s time to slice the dough into rounds and bake up the cookies! Once cooled, a quick dip into some minty melted chocolate and some sprinkling of peppermint candy and you’re done! Yum! I hope you all enjoy these!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Candy canes, crushed, for decorating
  • White sanding sugar for decorating, optional
Directions
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, granulated sugar and salt. Once combined, add the cold butter cubes and the vanilla extract. Pulse until the mixture looks like it has larger crumbs and will hold together when pinched. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or clean work surface and press the dough into a ball. Knead the dough a few times. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and work it into a log with a 2.5-3 inch diameter. Roll the dough log in the plastic wrap (I usually continue rolling and shaping it while it’s wrapped in plastic). Refrigerate the dough log until firm or overnight.
  2. Make sure oven racks are positioned in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into ⅜-inch thick cookies and arrange 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 25-27 minutes, switching the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the pan on a wire cooling rack then transfer cookies to the wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  3. Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring in 15 second intervals until it’s melted and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. Dip a cooled cookie halfway into the melted chocolate, place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and sprinkle with crushed candy canes and white sanding sugar (if using). Repeat for the rest of the cookies, melting more chocolate if needed. Towards the end I didn’t want to melt more so I just used a spoon to help spread it on the remaining cookies. Place in the fridge until the chocolate sets then remove and store at room temperature.

 

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy December! December is clearly the king of all months when it comes to cookies so it only makes sense to share a royally epic cookie recipe for my first post of the month. Here on day six of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies we’re all about these Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These are my favorite cookies I’ve ever made. I know, I know, such a bold statement! Especially when there’s no chocolate and they’re decorated cookies so you’re probably wondering who I am and what happened to Lauren. However, they are my favorite cookies I’ve ever made because they’re the first cookie where I’ve gone out of the box and truly experimented with flavor – and they turned out amazing. So amazing that I ended up having to make multiple batches of them last holiday season.

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

After plenty of trial and error, these sugar cookies are tender and have the perfect balance of rosemary and lemon flavoring. Both are present without either being too overpowering and they both add something unique and that-was-so-good-I-need-another-one-ness to the cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The glaze on top is lightly flavored with lemon as well and it adds just the right amount of sweetness to the cookies. Plus, it makes them look extra cute and festive!

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The inspiration for these cookies came from watching all the different holiday baking competition shows last year. There were a few times the bakers used savory herbs in their recipes and I was so intrigued by the idea and the judges positive reactions that I figured I would give it a shot. I never thought a lemon rosemary cookie would be in my must-bake holiday cookie line-up, but here we are! Enjoy, everyone!

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon Rosemary Sugar Cookies
 
Yield: about 24 medium cookies
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), slightly softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract (or ¼ teaspoon lemon oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Zest from ½ large lemon
for the icing
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 - 2½ tablespoons room temperature water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Green sanding sugar and sprinkles, for decoration
Directions
for the cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon extract, almond extract and lemon zest. Beat on high until fully combined.
  4. Add half the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining half and beat until only a few streaks remain. If the dough feels too soft add an additional 1 tablespoon of flour.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Roll out the first half onto a piece of parchment until you have a slab about ¼” to ⅛” thick. Repeat with the remaining half. If the dough is too sticky to roll out, put in the fridge for about 10 minutes before rolling. Stack the parchment slabs on top of one another on a baking sheet and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  6. Use a medium cookie cutter to cut out the dough. Place the cut cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake each cookie sheet for 9-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. Cookies are done when they have lightly colored edges and tops. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack then move to the cooling rack to cool completely.
for the icing
  1. Whisk everything together, starting with the 2 tablespoons of water. When you hold up your whisk and let it drip, the icing should hold for just a few seconds before dripping. If it’s too thick add the additional ½ tablespoon of water. If it’s too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  2. When the cookies are completely cooled, fill the icing in a pastry bag fit with a small tip to ice the cookies. Ice a few at a time before sprinkling with sanding sugar and sprinkles before they harden. I usually do this with the cookies set in a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper so sprinkles don’t go all over the place. Let the cookies set at room temperature for 24 hours to give the icing time to completely harden before stacking in containers.