Thin Mint Brownies

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I teased these brownies on my Instagram a few weeks back, but I was saving them to share until St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know if the fact that the Thin Mint box is green or that when you think of mint you associate the color green, but when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day themed treats, several mint chocolate recipes come up.

A mint chocolate St. Patrick’s themed recipe I remember from growing up is when my sisters and I used to make little ice cream sandwiches from a scoop of mint chocolate ice cream between two Thin Mints. You would then wrap them individually in foil and freeze. The snack idea came from a March issue of the American Girl magazine, maybe circa 2000? Did anyone else get the American Girl magazine? Does anyone else associate mint chocolate with St. Patrick’s Day?

These brownies are insanely fudgey, but that’s how I like them. If you can’t do the mint chocolate thing, try my Perfect Fudge Brownies by themself!

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Thin Mint Brownies:
yields 9 brownies

Ingredients:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 sleeve of Thin Mints, roughly chopped (16 cookies)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until fully melted. Stirring between each 30 seconds. Make sure to scrape the bottom to keep from burning. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. With a wooden spoon, stir in the melted chocolate mixture. Fold the flour, cocoa powder and salt into the mix.

Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan. Evenly distribute 1/2 of the chopped Thin Mints over the top. Repeat with the other half of the batter. I use a butter knife to help spread the batter over the cookie layer. Finish by distributing the rest of the chopped cookies over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Support your co-workers daughter or your neighborhood Girl Scout and pick up a box of thin mints this week! Grab some Samoas while you’re at it for a batch of my Samoa Popcorn.

Annie

Campfire Cookies

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I'm heading to the lake with my family later today and I was tasked with bringing the "treats." Do I go with the classic Perfect CCC's? I could. Do I take the easy way out and just buy s'more ingredients? No, because it's 100+ in Oklahoma right now and the last thing I want to do is stand around a fire. 

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So instead, I will combine the two. As if my Perfect CCC's and a s'more had a baby, I give you Campfire Cookies. The ultimate summer lake trip treat.

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They are everything you love in a Perfect CCC (hello flaky Maldon Salt) mixed with graham crackers, marshmallows, and a Hershey's chocolate bar. I can think of nothing better right now. I will also take this moment to profess my love affair with Graham Crackers. The most underrated cookie/cracker. They are the perfect after dinner snack. Shmear on a little Cookie Butter or almond butter and you are golden. Graham Crackers I love you. Campfire Cookies, I love you too!

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Campfire Cookies
yields 32-36 cookies

Ingredients:
1  cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed*
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped
1 Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, chopped
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 sleeve Graham Crackers (9 crackers total)
Maldon Salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

Divide your graham crackers into stacks of 4 and 5. Take the 5 graham crackers and place in a large ziplock bag. Using a rolling pin crush the crackers into fine crumbs. This mixture will be added to the dry ingredients, so you want them to be very fine. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Then, take the 4 graham crackers and break them up into small pieces. Small enough to be mixed into the dough, but still in chunks. *see photo above for reference.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, fine graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix both sugars. *You can use light or dark brown sugar. I like a dark cookie so I prefer dark brown sugar, but I switch off depending on what I have on hand. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the sugars and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. I found a wooden spoon to be the easiest for this job. Once the dough has almost come together, add the chocolate chips, marshmallows, graham cracker chunks and 3/4 of the chopped Hershey's bar.
Reserve a few marshmallows, graham cracker chunks and 1/4 of the chopped Hershey bar for topping the balls of cookie dough.

Form 2-3 tablespoon size balls. I used a standard size cookie scoop, but overload the scoop getting a larger ball of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 10 balls of dough on a pan. Take your reserved chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows and top each ball of dough with a little of each. Then sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt. 

Bake for 9-11 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just slightly golden. 

Don't fear, the marshmallows will ooze out and go all over the pan.  For a prettier cookie, take the cookies while they are still warm and using either you fingers or a knife, pull off and trim away the oozy marshmallow.You are simply just cleaning up your cookies. 

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Annie

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Double Cashew Brownies

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Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Double Cashew Brownies, say that five times fast. I got a little crazy with these guys, and well, it totally worked. And they are like, kinda healthy, cause #glutenfree #dairyfree #fitfam #absaremadeinthekitchen.

No flour means they are seriously fudgey. And the double cashew comes from swirling my favorite cashew butter through the batter and then topping them with my favorite bulk bin item, dark chocolate covered cashews. Now let's just cut to the chase.

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Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Double Cashew Brownies
yields 1, 8x8 pan of brownies

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
4 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, divided
4 Tbsps. Georgia Grinders cashew butter, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate covered cashews, chopped (from the bulk bins)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 8x8" baking dish with cooking spray.

Whisk cornstarch and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until no lumps remain. Heat chocolate, 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, and 1 Tbsp. cashew butter in a small saucepan over low, stirring, until melted and smooth.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until light, smooth, about 3–4 minutes. Beat in salt and vanilla to combine. Then pour in melted chocolate mixture, and beat to combine. Scrape sides as needed. Beat in cornstarch mixture, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is thick and holds its shape, about 30 seconds.

Melt 1 Tbsp. coconut oil and remaining 3 Tbsp. cashew butter in a small microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Scrape batter into your prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Working quickly becasue the coconut oil in this recipe can start to re-harden, drop melted cashew butter mixture in 5 spots and swirl into top of batter with a skewer or toothpick. Sprinkle chopped dark chocolate cashews over the top.

Bake brownies for 21-24 minutes until tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist spots. Being careful not to insert tester into the melted chocolate covered cashew, but into the actual brownie. For an accurate read.

Store in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

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Annie

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies

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Forget September 22, the day after Labor Day marks the start of fall in mine and most people's minds. I was at Whole Foods the other night and pumpkins are already out, the PSL made it's seasonal debut, and I am unapologetically sharing my first pumpkin recipe of the fall!

This recipe doesn't scream pumpkin but it does scream fall. Pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and the secret ingredient, paprika, makes for a kickin' cookie (I had to). I originally made these a few weeks ago and everyone who tried them deemed that they must be remade once cooler weather crept in. Hello cooler weather, hello double chocolate pumpkin seed cookies!

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Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies
yields about 32 medium cookies or 18 large cookies, adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. paprika
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup dark chocolate (you can use chips or buy a bar of dark chocolate and chop it up)
Maldon salt

Directions:
Place your pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and place on the upper rack of the oven. Then heat your oven to 350°. This is the best trick my mom taught me. Nuts and seeds brown perfectly in the same amount it takes for your oven to preheat. (About  8–10 minutes). Toss occasionally until golden. Let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and paprika in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing until well blended after each. Stir in chocolate and pumpkin seeds.

If you want medium cookies use a cookie scoop (about 2 Tbsp.) if you want large cookies use an ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup). Large cookies will be more bakery style, but for portion control reasons I go medium size. You can see both sizes pictured below. Place large cookies 3" apart and medium cookies 2" apart. Sprinkle with flakey Maldon salt and bake, rotating pans halfway through. 17–20 minutes for large cookies, 9-11 minutes for medium cookies. 

Happy pumpkin baking!

Annie

Perfect Chocolate chip cookies Updated

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As if they couldn't get more perfect, well they just did. Perfect CCCs are upgraded and this is now THE only CCC recipe you need. They are my go to for any event, pot luck, or those times when I just have an itch for baking.  

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The recipe is very similar to the original Perfect CCCs, with a few extra additions to give them a sweet and salty touch. I have added olive oil in the batter and flakey sea salt on top. But, my secret ingredient is adding a chopped up Hershey's milk chocolate bar to the mix.

Try not to omit the Hershey's bar if you can. It's worth the trip to the gas station to pick one up. The combo of the semi-sweet chips that stay firm through baking mixed with the melty milk chocolate bar gives it the edge they needed!

I have found myself chopping up leftover Dove Valentine hearts or Easter chocolate bunnies in place of the Hershey's bar. A great way to use up leftover candy. Halloween, I see you.... I have also been known to add festive sprinkles to fit the occasion. Muli-colored sprinkles for Cinco de Mayo and birthdays, red, white and blue for the 4th!

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Perfect CCCs Updated
yields 32 cookies

Ingredients:
½  cup unsalted butter (I recommend Kerrygold), melted
½ cup olive oil (use a basic, not fancy olive oil)
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed*
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
10 ounces, semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped
1 Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, chopped (optional, if choose to omit, use 12 ounces choc chips)
Maldon Salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix both sugars. *You can use light or dark brown sugar. I like a dark cookie so I prefer dark brown sugar, but I switch off depending on what I have on hand. Pour the melted butter and olive oil into the bowl with the sugars and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture. I found a wooden spoon to be the easiest for this job. Once the dough has almost come together, but still a little floury, add the chocolate chips and Hershey's bar.
*I roughly chopped my chocolate chips, so I could get more chocolate in each bite. I also love those little shavings of chocolate sprinkled through the dough! 

Form 2-3 tablespoon size balls. I used a standard size cookie scoop, but overload the scoop getting a larger ball of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 8 balls of dough on a pan, at most. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt. 

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, the key is to not over bake these! Shy on the underdone side.

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I firmly believe this is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's easily become my most popular recipe on the site. Thanks to everyone who has made their own batch of Perfect CCCs. And if you haven’t yet, it's time to whip up a batch!

Annie