Thin & Crispy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mint and chocolate are one of my favourite flavour combinations. That, or peanut butter and chocolate. In my book, the mintier the merrier! These mint chocolate chip cookies definitely live up to their name, due to mint-infused butter AND peppermint extract, and tons of chocolate in every bite. It could be the winning cookie for Mothers Day 🙂

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thin and crispy mint chocolate chip cookies

 

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thin and crispy mint chocolate chip cookies

I made these the other week, in preparation for one of our climbing competitions on Vancouver Island. They’re easy to pack, and are the perfect size to nibble on between climbs. We both ended up nabbing first place in our age category, so perhaps they can be called Winning Mint Chocolate Chip cookies 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thin and crispy mint chocolate chip cookies

I’ve made treats with mint before, but I usually stick to peppermint extract and not fresh mint. So when I saw a version of these cookies floating around online, I became intrigued with the idea of infusing mint into the butter. Would it make the mint flavour stronger? It definitely makes the kitchen smell fantastic, as it simmers away, so I count that as a win.

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If there’s a downside to this recipe, it’s only that you need to give the cookie dough some time to hang out in the fridge, at least an hour. So if you’re in need of a cookie ASAP, this is probably not the recipe for you.

BUT, if you’re able to plan ahead a bit, give this one a whirl. I let the cookie dough rest in the fridge overnight, and then baked them the next day when I had some free time. Because we don’t make cookies very often, I don’t mind waiting for a treat like this!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thin and crispy mint chocolate chip cookies

These cookies are thin and crispy, but are oh-so minty and chocolatey. They freeze really well and somehow taste even better, straight from the freezer.

Given their size, I think they’d also make fantastic ice cream sandwiches! And seeing as the weather is almost warm enough (we finally took the winter flannel sheets off our bed this week), I’m thinking another batch of these might be in order 😉

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thin and crispy mint chocolate chip cookies

Thin & Crispy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from My Name is Yeh.
Ingredients
  • 115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed fresh mint, roughly chopped *
  • 100 g (1/2 cup, packed) dark brown sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 75 g (0.6 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 115 g (0.9 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 90 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, add the butter and mint and melt over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. The butter will start to foam up and turn slightly brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. The butter should still be warm and not returned to its solid state. Strain out the mint using a fine-mesh strainer, and set aside the mint-infused butter. *
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and peppermint extract and beat for another minute.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda and sea salt). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to incorporate. Add the chocolate chips and mix to combine.
  4. Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
  5. When read to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line baking trays with parchment paper. Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the pan, spaced at least 5 to 7 cm apart and sprinkle each with a bit of flaky sea salt, if you'd like. The cookies will spread when baking.
  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. If you like your cookies on the soft side, stick closer to 10 minutes. The cookies will continue to cook slightly, even once you remove them from the oven.
  7. Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then remove and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
* If you don't want to strain out the mint, chop the mint very fine before adding it to the butter. There's no need to strain the mint afterwards, and the texture of the cookies doesn't change (you'll just see flecks of green dotted throughout the cookies). This version might taste even mintier!
** These cookies freeze very well.

Enjoy these Thin & Crispy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake

We were off on vacation last week, during which we celebrated Jonty’s birthday. It felt like a leisurely birthday week, filled with some climbing, some van work, a few nibbles around town and a craft beverage or two – all the makings of a good stay-cation.

His request for a birthday cake was remarkably similar to last year – chocolate, fruit and cream. The wheels have been turning for almost 2 weeks, trying to decide on the perfect cake, scouring my cookbooks and Pinterest for inspiration. I feel like birthdays are the one occasion per year that deserves a special cake, so the pressure is on (in my head) to make sure it’s a cake worthy of a celebration!

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My thought process behind making a birthday cake is often a rambling jumble of ideas that percolate in my mind for well-over a week. Silly, perhaps, but that’s the way I roll 🙂 The thought process this year:

  • Making a chocolate cake is always a given for Jonty’s birthday, but only as a single-layer cake this year. I did a double layer cake last year and, really, it’s better for a crowd.
  • Strawberries are a given, as I used raspberries last year. Also, the first crop of BC strawberries are out, and they just taste so darned good!
  • Jonty wants cream – should I do ice cream, whipped cream, something else?
  • I want the top to look fancy. Think, Moira, think!

Perhaps it was the result of the pint of ice cream we had a few weeks ago, but the idea of a Cookies and Cream cake struck a soft spot in my tummy and I rolled with it.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Strawberry cookies-and-cream birthday cake

So, as a result of too much over-thinking, Jonty’s birthday cake idea was born! A classic chocolate cake, smothered in a not-too-sweet mascarpone icing, and topped with local BC strawberries and crumbled cacao-nib cookies.

It sounds like a mouthful, because it is a mouthful! A very delicious mouthful 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Strawberry cookies-and-cream birthday cake

If you want to make everything from scratch, it is a 2-day process, but most of that time is passive chilling / cooling time. The cookies are simple slice-and-bake cookies, but the dough does require time to chill in the freezer (at a minimum, 30 minutes). If you want, you can also bake the cake the day before and keep it, well-covered, in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble. To keep things simple, I made the cookies and cake the night before and as a result, making the cake felt quite easy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Strawberry cookies-and-cream birthday cake

This Cookies and Cream cake is rich and chocolately, with sweet strawberries and the tangy mascarpone icing. If you wanted to do a super-simple version of this, the chocolate cake + sliced strawberries + a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream would be equally fantastic!

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The cake was adapted from this Joy the Baker recipe.
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 135 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 175 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) warm water
  • 6 g (1 tbsp) instant espresso powder
  • 65 g (1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the decoration:
  • 175 g mascarpone cheese
  • 40 g (2 tbsp) icing sugar
  • 10 g (2 tbsp) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 - 4 tbsp milk
  • 150 g (1 cup) quartered strawberries
  • 8 - 10 chocolate cacao cookies, crumbled (recipe below, or chocolate cookies of your choice)
Instructions
  1. If you are making the cookies from scratch, make the cookie dough at least a day before you want to make the cake, as these slice-and-bake cookies require the dough to be frozen before baking. If you are using other cookies, you can just bake the cake.
For the cake:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a 8-inch square pan (or 9-inch circular pan) with parchment paper. Mist lightly with a neutral cooking oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, warm the coconut oil and water. Add the espresso powder and vanilla and mix together.
  4. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cook in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on the rack.
  7. If you are decorating the cake on the same day, wait until the cake has cooled completely before decorating. If not, the cake can be wrapped well and stored in the fridge for a day.
For the decoration:
  1. Make the icing by beating together the mascarpone cheese, icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  2. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until your desired consistency is achieved. I added enough to make the icing spreadable, but fairly thick.
  3. Once ready to decorate the cake, spread the mascarpone icing on the cake. Break the cookies into pieces and scatter across the icing. Add the sliced fresh strawberries.
Notes
We do not like our icing very sweet. Feel free to increase the amount of icing sugar, if you prefer a sweeter icing. Keep in mind, however, that your fruit should already be quite sweet.

Cacao Nib Cookies
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The cookie recipe was modified from this Rachel Cooks recipe.
Ingredients
  • 120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 45 g (1.5 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 65 g (1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
  • ½ tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. Cream together the butter and cream cheese for a few minutes, until light.
  3. Add the sugar and vanilla until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Shape the dough into a log shape and wrap in parchment paper. Freeze at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 weeks.
  5. When you are ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  6. Remove the cookie dough from its wrapping and slice into 5 mm thick discs. Press the cacao nibs onto each side of the cookies before baking.
  7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, on a parchment-lined tray, until golden at the edges.
  8. Let cool completely before using on the cake.
Notes
The cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks before baking.

Happy Birthday, Jonty!

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Super Soft Gingersnap Cookies | ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com

Super-Soft Gingersnap Cookies

I feel like everyone should have an old familiar recipe in their midst that comes with a story or brings back strong memories every time you make it. Maybe it’s been handed down through your family, maybe it’s always served on a special occasion. We have a few of these types of recipes, and this is one of them.

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The original gingersnap recipe came to me, more than 20 years ago, via a friend’s grandma. I don’t think I even met her grandma, but the gingersnap cookie left a lasting impression on my taste buds. Every time I make them, I’m whisked back to my teenage years as a summer-camp counselor. My friend’s grandma sent her a big 4-gallon ice-cream tub FULL of these cookies to share with her fellow counselors throughout the week, and they never lasted more than a day or two!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Super-soft gingersnap cookies

The original butter-stained index card indicates the recipe yields 60 cookies. But after rolling, what felt like my 100th cookie-dough ball, I made a note on the card telling my future-self to make a half-batch only, unless I wanted to be making cookies until the cows came home!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Super-soft gingersnap cookiesClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Super-soft gingersnap cookies

I make these every December, and I do believe they are one of Jonty’s favourites (mine too!). Over the years, I’ve reduced the sugar, and dramatically increased the cinnamon and ginger (we like our gingersnaps “ginger-y”!) and every year, it takes a significant amount of willpower to ration ourselves to only one or two a day. (Although JP thinks it would be a good challenge to see if he could finish the lot in a day 🙂  )

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They freeze really well, and it’s probably best for your Christmas waistline if you give some away to friends and relatives 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Super-soft gingersnap cookies

Super-Soft Gingersnap Cookies
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 50
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 63
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.6 g
  • Sugar: 5.6
  • Sodium: 18.3 mg
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 0.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.6 mg
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These are my favourite gingersnap cookies. A classic recipe!
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
  • 190 g / 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 125 g / 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
Wet Ingredients
  • 125 g / ½ cup / 1 stick unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • 195 g / 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 85 g / ¼ cup molasses
Other
  • ~1/3 cup granulated white sugar, for rolling the dough in before baking
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar, until soft and light in colour.
  3. Add the egg and molasses and mix until well-combined.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. The cookie dough will be soft.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, to firm up the dough. If possible, refrigerate the dough overnight to really bring out the caramel flavour.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 375F and line baking trays with parchment paper.
  7. Shape a tablespoon-sized portion of dough into a ball and roll in granulated sugar. Place the balls onto the parchment-lined baking tray, about 2.5 cm apart. There is no need to flatten the cookies.
  8. For soft cookies, bake for 8 to 9 minutes. They will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven, so don't over-bake them.
  9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Notes
I used a combination of all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flour, but using only all-purpose flour will work just fine. These cookies freeze very well!

Enjoy!

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Nutrition label, soft gingersnap cookies

“Take Me to the Crag!” Cookies

I found a recipe in this book for “breakfast bars” – bars that were so healthy for you, they could be eaten for breakfast. As soon as I saw them though, I didn’t think about breakfast, I thought about climbing snacks! I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, and decided these were going to be our “Crag Cookies”.

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These cookies are full of whole grains, protein, healthy fats, and a few bits of dark chocolate thrown in (because really, chocolate should always accompany a climber to a crag).

They also have a super-secret ingredient in them that you would never guess – pureed white beans! Honestly, you cannot taste a “bean” flavour, and they really boost the fiber/protein content of these suckers.

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I sized these cookies to be easily portable, making them a great snack to take along on a hike or climb, or even to pack into your lunch for a mid-afternoon snack. They freeze well, too, which is a bonus!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade power cookies

These cookies are gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats) and can easily be made vegan, if you sub applesauce for the greek yogurt. I’ve used raisins and pumpkin seeds in this version, but any dried fruit / nut / seed combo can be used.

“Take Me to the Crag!” Cookies
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12 - 13
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 391
  • Fat: 10.6 g
  • Saturated fat: 5.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60.8 g
  • Sugar: 12.2 g
  • Sodium: 316.9 mg
  • Fiber: 10.2 g
  • Protein: 16.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.9 mg
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from the My New Roots cookbook
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water, mixed
  • 3¼ cup large-flake oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 15 oz / 425 g can cooked white beans, drained and rinsed well (cannellini, navy, white kidney would all work)
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup non-fat plain greek yogurt (or applesauce)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup puffed millet, or corn flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water and set aside for 15 minutes, to gel.
  3. In a high-speed blender (or food processor), pulse 1¼ cups of the oats until they turn into a rough flour. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the remaining 2 cups of oats, the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In the blender, pulse the well-drained beans with the coconut oil until the mixture is very creamy. Add in the maple syrup, chia gel, greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and blend until smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup, if you prefer a sweeter cookie.
  5. Pour the bean mixture over the oat mixture and start to combine. Add in the raisins, seeds, chocolate and puffed millet / corn flakes (if using) and continue to mix. The mixture will be very thick and slightly sticky.
  6. Use a ⅓-cup for measuring the cookie portions. Shape each into a ball and then flatten slightly into a disc shape, placing them on the parchment-lined baking tray. These cookies do not spread, so can be kept close together.
  7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before eating (or they may crumble on you before they set properly) or freezing.

Enjoy!

Small-Batch Coconut Cacao Cookies

Sometimes a person needs a sweet little afternoon pick-me-up, with the key word being “little”. These cookies are perfect for those moments! Small-batch, single-serving, whatever you want to call them, they are just the right size to satisfy those cravings without tempting you to eat an entire dozen. Sometimes “will-power” and “sweet-cravings” do not play nicely with each other!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Single-serving coconut cacao cookies

The other great thing about these cookies is that you can bake them up in a toaster-oven which, if you’re in the middle of a heat wave, sounds much more appealing than turning on a big oven for a few little snacks.

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These cookies are egg-free and dairy-free (if you use almond or cashew milk), so they are perfect if you’re a vegan or like to taste-test the dough before it’s cooked 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Single-serving coconut cacao cookies

Small-Batch Coconut Cacao Cookies
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 88
  • Fat: 4.1 g
  • Saturated fat: 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.2 g
  • Sugar: 4.7 g
  • Sodium: 26.1 mg
  • Fiber: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.5 mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 5 tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • Sea salt to sprinkle
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your toaster oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, coconut, brown sugar and baking powder, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the vanilla, coconut oil, milk and cacao nibs and stir to combine. If the mixture seems too wet or dry, add a touch more flour or milk, respectively.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a small ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and flatten with the back of a knife or fork. Sprinkle the tops with sea salt.
  4. Bake at 350°F for about 7 - 9 minutes, until the bottoms turn a golden brown.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes before indulging with a cup of coffee!

Enjoy!

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