When in New England, Make Brussels Cookies

My mom used to buy Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies. They were crunchy, crisp, and filled with chocolatey goodness. It was like having two cookies in one, and therefore four cookies in eight, because I was most likely the culprit rightly blamed for eating half the bag (or two thirds of the bag, if we are getting really mathematical). I have had a cookie craving for a few days now. Just one bad cookie, that’s all a girl needs sometimes. So I gave the Brussels cookie a go. There… I just made up for two cookie-less days in one cookie. (Or four. But who’s counting…)

I used a lot of different dry ingredients, and the cookie came out perfectly crisp, crunchy, and sweet, just as I remember them. The quinoa flour gave it an extra nutty-ness. The different flours also give the cookie a more golden hue, and the lack of white flour in exchange for nutrient dense quinoa flour, wheat bran, and flaxseed meal make me feel slightly less guilty for my lack of discipline.

Enjoy these crunchy cookies with a cup of cocoa and a big blanket by the fire.

Ingredients (for about 2 dozen cookies, depending on the size):

4 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup organic cane sugar

2 tbsp Blue Agave

2 tablespoons 1% milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup quinoa flour

1 tbsp flaxseed meal

1 tbsp wheat bran

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

For chocolate filling:

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used Ghiradelli)

1 tbsp 1% milk

1 tsp dark roast finely ground coffee

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a small bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and agave. I cut through the butter with a knife and then beat it myself with a fork, but you can also use a mixer. Add the vanilla and milk and stir to combine. Sift in the whole wheat pastry flour, quinoa flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking powder, and wheat bran a little at a time. Stir to combine (or beat on low). If the mixture is very dry, add a drizzle more blue agave.

Scoop teaspoon-size rounds of dough onto the parchment paper. Trust me they will spread. Keep them a few inches apart from one another. You will have leftover batter. Place the leftover batter in the fridge covered with plastic wrap for the time being. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

In a heatproof glass bowl set over a small pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the milk and coffee until smooth. Remove from heat and let chill.

Let them cool on the sheet pan for 1-2 minutes before very gently peeling them off and placing them on a drying rack. This is an important step or the cookies won’t dry evenly. Once dry, use a butter knife or small flat spreading spatula to spread a dollop of chocolate onto one cookie. Sandwich it with another cookie (this is why it is nice to try to make all the cookies the same size). Place the sandwich cookie back on the drying rack so that the chocolate center dries and hardens. Bake the next batch and repeat until there is no more batter.

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