For the first time in my life….my family and I went on vacation over Thanksgiving.  We went to Mexico and I didn’t see any turkeys in Mexico….so I’m not sure the “turkey” I had on Thanksgiving day was actually turkey but possibly one of the 3700 chickens I saw running around there.  It was weird and tropical and made me feel like it’s extra hard to get in the holiday spirit.  The resort did start decorating for the holidays the day after Thanksgiving but the warm weather….and sporting a bathing suit while sipping Pina Coladas made it feel a little more like the Christmas in July.

So, it’s been a challenge getting back into work mode and my second annual “Twelve Days of Cookies” posts are a little behind but I’m now feeling Christmasy thanks to Sirius radio and am ready to start the baking marathon.  Are you?

First up….a great creation that was a total experiment but turned out pretty ridiculous in my opinion.  I had to give them to my neighbor so I wouldn’t eat all of them before we left for Mexico.  And if you can get these assembled without eating all the brownie batter….you deserve a medal.  I was licking the bowl clean it was so good.

The brownie recipe is from a high school friend (Hi, Jen!)…’s the one that I remember making in her kitchen when we were 16.  Ironically, they are called “The Best Brownies.” No lie…they are the best.  We made the batter…and sometimes an actual pan of brownies would make it out of the oven but that was rare.  And this was before everyone was all freakish about eating raw eggs.  I added coffee to the recipe this time and Don’t skip this step.  Just don’t.

The cookie recipe is adapted from Nestle Toll House’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  I skip the brown sugar and use all white granulated sugar.  That’s the only change I made and it’s just to make the cookie more like an actual sugar cookie with chocolate chips.  I always make my chocolate chip cookies this way and they are “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.” I wouldn’t lie about that either. 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mocha Brownie Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mocha Brownie Bites

Makes approximately 36

For the chocolate chip cookies:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur Flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle)

For the mocha brownie batter:

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur Flour)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons brewed coffee (I use leftover coffee that’s frozen in ice cube trays.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla until creamy. Gradually add the flour mixture.  Slowly stir in the chocolate chips.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly to combine after each addition. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well blended.

In a mini muffin tin coated with cooking spray, press about a teaspoon of the cookie dough into each muffin cup to form a bowl.  Pour a small amount of the brownie batter into each cookie dough cup being careful not to overfill.

Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.