Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {Gluten-free + Dairy-free}

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {gluten-free + dairy-free!} | Kneading Home

These cookies smell and taste like a soft gooey version of girl scout's thin mints (without all the chemicals!). They're made with almond meal which makes them gluten-free and surprisingly loaded with protein. They're also dairy-free and made with coconut oil, which makes them sort of healthy, but still ridiculously delicious.

They're great right out of the oven but better the longer they sit. Topped with crunchy sea salt, they're crispy around the edges and soft and brownie-like in the center. I don't mess around when it comes to chocolate so I more than tripled the amount of chocolate chunks from the original recipe. Each cookie is filled with big puddles of chocolatey goodness. Also, they will make your house smell amazing!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {gluten-free + dairy-free!} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {gluten-free + dairy-free!} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {gluten-free + dairy-free!} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {gluten-free + dairy-free!} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {gf & dairy-free}
Makes 18-20 cookies
Adapted from: Sprouted Kitchen

1 1/4 cups (137 grams) almond meal
1/2 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (65 grams) brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (I used the frontier brand)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup (120 grams/6 oz) dark chocolate chunks
chunky sea salt for serving

In a small bowl combine the almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil (make sure it's melted but not hot as you don't want scrambled eggs!), peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. 

Gentle whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Pour in the chocolate chunks and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate into the dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Note the dough can be made a day in advance.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, place the dough balls onto the parchment then flatten slightly. Cook for 7-10 minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle with chunky sea salt. Best served when cooled completely. 

Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies

Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies | Kneading Home

From my experience, I've learned the world is divided into two camps. One is "team tutti-fruity". This camp is made up of people who love sweets like gummy bears, jelly beans, and twizzlers. My husband lives on this team, as I frequently find sour gummies covered in sugar hidden behind the seat in his car. Oh the shame.

Then there is "team chocolate" of which I've been a member my whole life. The darker, the richer, the better! I also happen to come from a long line of chocolate lovers. In fact, I distinctly have memories of my dad insisting that white chocolate is not actually chocolate at all and is therefore not even worthy of the name. And I must admit, I agree. I mean how can something that doesn't even contain cocoa be called chocolate? 

So if you've been following this blog for a while, my chocolate obsession is no secret. In fact, chocolate partnered with berries is probably my favorite flavor combination in the world. Something about the warm richness of dark chocolate partnered with the sharp tartness of perfectly ripe berries.

So to my fellow dark chocolate lovers (and to myself!), I feel I must apologize. I have momentarily betrayed you. Accept my sincerest condolences in the form of: 

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Crumble Cake

Dark Chocolate Bark with Pomegranate, Sea Salt & Cookie Crumbs

Chocolate Doughnuts with Real Strawberry Icing

Angel Food Cake With Dark Chocolate Whipped Cream & Pomegranate Syrup

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

Creamiest Vegan Hot Chocolate

Homemade Dark Chocolate Nutella

DIY Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups With Sea Salt

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies | Kneading Home
Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies | Kneading Home
Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies | Kneading Home

But let me just say these cookies are everything. And as possibly the world's greatest white chocolate skeptic, I can whole-heartedly say that it works, in a surprising and fantastic way. And white chocolate aside, when I attempted to throw whole frozen raspberries into my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, I had serious doubts. I figured they would get soggy, the berries wouldn't cook through, the cookies would turn into a mess. But somehow, it worked and the result is perfect. 

I hope you have a lovely christmas. I hope time spent traveling is done so safely, and I hope the next week provides you with some time to relax and take care of yourself. I hope that if things do get stressful, as they often can when holiday expectations are partnered with family, that you eat and share these cookies. Because somehow food has a way of transcending us, I think. Of blurring the lines of generation and political affiliation. Good food is something I think (and I hope!) we can all get behind. And I sincerely thank you for letting me share mine with you all year long. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies | Kneading Home
Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies | Kneading Home
Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies | Kneading Home
Rapsberry White Chocolate Chocolate Cookies
Makes about 29 cookies
adapted from: Date Night In

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated cane sugar
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 oz white chocolate chips, ~heaping 1/2 cup
5 oz frozen raspberries, ~ 1 heaping cup
fluer de sel (for finishing)

Preheat the oven to 360 degree and line two large baking sheets with parchment. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for about 5 minutes until the mixture is light color and smooth in consistency. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add in the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until fully incorporated. 

With the mixer still on low, slowly scoop the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Continue until no streaks of flour remain. You will likely need to scape the sides of the bowl a couple times. Add the chocolate chips and mix to combine. 

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and pour in frozen raspberries. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gentle integrate the raspberries into the dough. Though some will inevitably become smashed, try to keep the whole raspberries intact. 

Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the dough into balls and line onto the baking sheet. Bake for 11-15 minutes (I did 12 minutes for very gooey but cooked cookies) until slightly golden on top. Let cool for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt and serve. 

Have extra dough or want to make it ahead? I recommend scooping the finished dough into cookie dough balls then freezing in a freezer bag until you're ready to bake. Alternately you could form a log of cookie dough and slice and bake when ready. You will likely need an extra minute or two of baking time if cookies are frozen.

Although it's ok, I do not recommend refrigerating the dough once the raspberries are incorporated. The raspberries will melt and their juices will make things messy resulting in streaky blue (though still very tastey) bruised-looking cookies.


Homemade Speculoos Cookies {vegan}

Homemade Speculoos Cookies {vegan} | Kneading Home

By now I think everyone has tried the wonder that is speculoos cookie butter. The stuff is practically liquid gold, and these are the cookies that started it all. Speculoos, sometimes called Speculaas, cookies are a classic spiced holiday treat from Belgium. Think, gingerbread cookie, but better. I did my research and these are as classic as they can get with a gamete of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, white pepper and cardamon. They are warm with subtle spice and perfect with a steamy mug of coffee or tea.

Homemade Speculoos Cookies {vegan} | Kneading Home
Homemade Speculoos Cookies {vegan} | Kneading Home

Traditionally they're made with butter, but I tweaked a couple things and found using coconut oil instead made them just as good if not better, so they are completely vegan. 

Homemade Speculoos Cookies {vegan} | Kneading Home

Homemade Speculoos Cookies {vegan} 
Makes about 120 tiny cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, very cold/solid
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk of your choice (I used almond)

Measure the coconut oil and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine flour, spices, salt, and baking powder and whisk until completely incorporated, set aside. Add sugar and cold coconut oil to a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the coconut oil and sugar together with the mixer on medium for about 3 minutes, then add the vanilla. 

With the mixer on low, pour about 1/2 cup of the flour mixture into the coconut oil mixture, follow with a splash of milk, repeat until all of the flour and milk is incorporated and the dough starts to form an almost cohesive ball. Divide the dough in half, forming into the shape of a disk if you'll be rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters, or forming into a cylinder if if you'll be cutting them into cookie slices. Wrap the dough in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. If using cookie cutters, on a floured work surface, roll the dough out until it's 1/4 inch thick, punch out cookies, and cook for 12-15 minutes until golden brown - they will continue to crisp up as they cool. If using sliced cookies, they will cook for closer to 20 minutes. 

Notes: Here are the cookie cutters I used. I bought them two Thanksgivings ago amid Paula Deen's scandal and remember them being less than half this price. We use them every holiday season, but any kind of cutters will work!