Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

 

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I wanted to create a healthy version of a Chocolate Crinkle Cookie that would be moist and have the same fine texture and delicateness of a traditional chocolate crinkle cookie.This recipe is adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook , a well known resource for cooking and baking. The changes I made to the original recipe are:

  • Decrease the amount of brown sugar from 1 1/2 cups to just 1/2 cup of brown sugar, The dark chocolate, cocoa, and espresso  enhances the rich chocolate flavor without the added sugar.
  • Decrease the number of eggs from 3 to 1, and add plain Greek yogurt.  Substituting Greek yogurt for part of the eggs in a cookie recipe helps to maintain protein content while decreasing the amount of fat and calories.  In baked goods a 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt can be substituted for each egg.

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

This recipe makes 30 to 32 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup white flour (5 ounces)

1/2 cup unsweetened 100% cocoa (1 1/2 ounces)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)

3 ounces dark chocolate chips

1 large egg

1/2 cup light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)

1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons espresso powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces )

1/2 cup  confectioner’s sugar (2 ounces)

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Using a food scale to measure ingredients helps to ensure accuracy and quality of cookies

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Into a medium bowl sift  flour and cocoa. Mix in the baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Microwave the chocolate chips and butter together in a bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Whisk brown sugar, egg, Greek yogurt, espresso powder and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir together until well combined. Fold in the flour mixture until no dry streaks remain. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Place granulated sugar and confectioner’s sugar in two separate small bowls. Form cookie dough by using  a one tablespoon cookie scooper and rolling dough into balls. Roll balls of dough first into granulated sugar and then into the confectioner sugar. Evenly space balls of dough on to prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Bake cookies one sheet at a time, until cookies are puffed and cracked and the edges have begun to set, and the centers are soft but not gooey. Bake about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cookie rack and cool completely.

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Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Homemade Baked Pita Chips

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My favorite go to appetizer  for  family get-togethers and parties is Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip. A slow cooker can be one of your best kitchen helpers when you are entertaining.  I like that you can make this appetizer ahead of time, you can do other things while your food cooks, and  it frees up your oven and stove top for other cooking and baking. This dip is also easy to transport and stays warm and delicious while entertaining. Instead of store-bought chips I like to make home made baked pita chips.

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Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry

14 oz. artichoke hearts, drained and diced

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup olive based mayonnaise

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

8 oz. lite cream cheese, cubed

8 oz. lite sour cream

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup milk/heavy cream (optional)

Directions

Spray a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir together until ingredients are evenly distributed and then pour into the slow cooker.

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Cook on high for 1 and 1/2 hours. Stir well and continue to heat for 30 more minutes  until cheeses are melted and the dip is heated through. If the dip is too thick, stir in milk or heavy cream little by little until desired consistency. Turn the slow cooker down to low and keep warm during service.

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Serve with homemade baked pita chips (recipe to follow), bread or crackers or with assorted fresh vegetables such as  celery, carrots, and cucumbers.

img_1124Homemade Baked Pita Chips

These pita chips are much healthier than fried store-bought chips, are easy to make, and can be customized with your favorite seasonings.

Ingredients

5 Round Pita Pockets

Olive oil

Garlic Salt

Dried Chopped Basil Leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. Cut each whole pita round in half, then into quarters, and then into eighth’s to make eight equal size triangles.
  2. Place on a single layer on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  3. Using a pastry brush lightly brush triangles with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic salt and dried basil leaves.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes until lightly crisp.

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