Fudgey Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Evergreen candle burning, Mariah Carey blasting, oven preheating, baking sheets loaded with dollops of every kind of cookie dough and just enough flour and cocoa powder dusted (somehow) over my entire body: it's Christmas, y'all.

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The magical time of the year where "regular" music is abandoned, twinkly lights welcome you around every corner and peppermint swirls seem to decorate every sweet treat in sight. For anyone that knows me, they know that I go ~in~ on Christmas.

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As soon as the turkey leftovers are placed on the fridge shelf, I'm pulling out the ornaments, picking out the tree and, oh yea, making an extensive list of cookies that need to be made. Not sure if overkill is the right word, but the amount of cookies I make tends to 1000% be overkill. Once all flavor profiles are accounted for (gingerbread, molasses, chocolate, mint, citrus, peanut butter, coconut... should I continue?) there are about 12 solid recipes that need to be made...

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BUT, over the years I've narrowed the list and only have about five to make this year (it's called restraint, be proud of me plz). To kick things off, I wanted to bring in one of my favorite combos: mint and chocolate and give it the health kick of the rest of my cooking.

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Fudgey, slightly sweet, rich, soft, flavorful and studded with the slight crunch of cacao nibs, these are the perfect cookie to kickstart the Christmas lovin' (really wanted this to have the same ring as summer lovin' but ya win some, ya lose some) without mountains of butter and sugar. Inspired by the paleo treats of Rachel Mansfield, these lovelies come together simply with a food processor and an ice cream scoop. Let's do this thang.

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Fudgey Mint Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookies (Makes about 3 dozen small cookies)

.5 of an avocado

1 cup black beans

.5 c raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

.25 t salt

.75 c unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

.5 cup dates (pitted)

1 egg

1.25 t peppermint extract

.75 c almond meal

.25 c shredded coconut, unsweetened 

.5 c super dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 85% dark) 

.25 c cacao nibs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. 

2. In the bowl of a food processor, add everything but almond meal, coconut, chopped chocolate and cacao nibs. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary. 

3. Add almond meal, coconut, chopped chocolate and cacao nibs. Blend until well combined, scraping down the sides to make sure there are no unmixed pockets.

4. Using a small ice cream scoop (or tablespoon), portion out cookie dough on prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 14-17 minutes, depending on how fudgey you like them. They'll be super soft when you first remove them from the oven but will firm up as they cool. 

5. Enjoy warm or store in the pantry or fridge (I like mine cold, it seems to bring out the mint flavor a little bit more). 

I hope you enjoy the recipe! I've been testing out a lot of paleo baking recently and have been ~loving~ it... If you have any recs of things you'd like to see, lmk! I hope you all have a cozy holiday filled with loved ones (and loved cookies). 

xx