Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cocoa Drop Cookies with Chocolate Mint Drizzle

My husband has two sisters that are excellent bakers. Every year they generously send Christmas boxes full of cookies, breads and other sweet treats. Tis the season I get to sit by and watch my husband with his milk and a heaping plate of Christmas cookies. This nightly ritual is pure torture for me. I try not to be bothered by it but (I can be honest here), I am only human...and one with a very sweet tooth! I want a Christmas cookie, too.

Motivated by my selfish desire, I created this masterpiece of low-carb, chocolate delight! In this recipe, I tried something different to keep the saturated fat grams in check. Knowing that the chocolate chips I wanted for the glaze would add to the overall fat grams, I made a partial butter substitution of mascarpone cheese in the dough that worked out perfectly. Mascarpone cheese usually can be found in the specialty cheese section of your grocery in a plastic tub that looks like cream cheese. It is a super thick cultured cream that only has half the calories and saturated fat of butter. The end result was a soft, moist cookie that I topped with melted dark chocolate laced with peppermint! At only 4.8 net carbs each, tonight I happily will be joining the Christmas cookie ritual without guilt.

Cocoa Drop Cookies with Chocolate Mint Drizzle
(Makes 3 dozen)

½ cup all-purpose flour
1¼ cups almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon buttermilk powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
5 tablespoons (2½ oz.) mascarpone cheese
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup Splenda granular (not baking blend)
1 large egg
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:
1/3 cup dark chocolate morsels
1½ tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon peppermint extract

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, measure flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk powder and salt. Stir with a fork to break up any lumps in the almond flour; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and mascarpone cheese using a standing or handheld mixer. Cream in the sugar and Splenda (¼ cup at a time) until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.

3. Add ½ of the flour mixture and beat until blended. Add the water and continue beating with the mixer until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, stir until incorporated.

4. Use a small cookie scoop or drop by rounded teaspoonful onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes (do not over bake). Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool and reserve the parchment paper. When completely cooled, line cookies on the reserved parchment paper in 3 or 4 long lines. Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and microwave on high for about 6-8 seconds at a time until morsels are melted. Stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly. Place glaze into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off one corner and drizzle melted chocolate back and forth across the cookies. Allow the chocolate to cool completely and set up before storing in airtight container, about 45 minutes.

Nutritional Information per cookie: 71 calories, 5.9 g carbohydrate, 4.8 g total fat, 1.9 g saturated fat, 1.1 g fiber, 1.7 g protein.

Original Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

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