A Pre-Christmas Quickie

We’ll be leaving early Wednesday morning to see my folks in Smalltown, West Texas for Christmas. It’s going to be fun…we’re not exchanging gifts this year, which makes both me and my pocketbook happy. Gifts can be so stressful…I find myself asking questions like: Is this enough of a gift? Is this something they’re not really going to like but feel too guilty to toss out? Do they already have this? Are they going to get me something more expensive/less expensive/more thoughtful/less thoughtful? Oh, it stresses me out! I’m such a perfectionist…I end up trying in vain to find the PERFECT gift. Every. Year.

Thankfully, my family decided that instead of gifts, we would all travel to my parent’s house and just hang out together. My sister and I are going to bake pumpkin whoopie pies for my mom, and I’m sure there will be other baked goodies as well (my sister is a great baker). We’ll have a Christmas dinner and maybe some hot cocoa, and maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see some snow (though it looks doubtful this week). My dad will fall asleep on the recliner while we watch the 10:00 news, and my brother will sit at his wife’s feet, listening to my sister and me chat about food and cookbooks and magazines. My niece and nephew will be there, too, and I’ll force lots of hugs on them.

For now, Justin and I are just wrapping things up (work, not gifts) here, trying to eat all the leftovers in the fridge before we go, and figuring out what to pack (coats? scarves? baking gadgets?). I had planned on baking a root beer bundt cake or an apple pie this week, but I just didn’t get to it. Tonight I threw in the towel, though…I just HAD to have some freshly baked chocolate goodness.

I had forgotten about this recipe…it’s so quick and easy, and endlessly changeable. Sometimes I drop the dough from two spoons, sometimes I roll it into balls (rolled in sugar or just plain), sometimes I bake it in an 8″ x 8″ baking pan and cut it into bars. You can add chocolate chips or nuts or dried cherries (or crystallized ginger, which I thought of today when tasting a delicious chocolate cookie that Justin’s co-worker brought to share). And did I mention that it’s quick and easy?

Anyway, here’s the recipe in case any of you out there are also looking for a quick chocolate fix. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Cocoa Fudge Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Stir-ins as desired (chocolate/butterscotch/mint chips, nuts, or dried fruit)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, soda, and salt; set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars (mixture will resemble coarse sand). Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Add stir-ins. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. (You can also roll dough into balls, roll in sugar, and flatten a bit on the baking sheet.)

Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.

4 responses to “A Pre-Christmas Quickie”

  1. My family isn’t doing big gifts this year either. We’re just doing small handmade goodies and hanging out together. It’s taken so much stress out of this season for sure! These fudge cookies look just dreamy! Have a great holiday!

  2. this is EXACTLY the type of recipe i was in the mood for tonight–and everythig i have on hand, yeah–and the picture sells it!

    happy christmas to you and yours, crysta… be safe and enjoy the people you love!

  3. crystal, too! ; )

  4. Safe travels, and Merry Christmas!

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