Monday, October 23, 2006

Creating cookies with new ingredients...

Blogger has been having issues all weekend and it seems that they are still having problems today - sorry if any comments are not getting through. It seems yesterday's post was eaten, but I'll try to get it back up if I can.

I love this time of the year as all the new holiday baking products come rushing into the markets. We happened to find these little guys this weekend and I picked them up/put them back at least twice... I couldn't help it though, we had to get them.

They are Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips (they are soft though...)

I created this recipe today, Chocolate Peppermint-Toffee Crunch Cookies, so I could try these new chips out in a cookie. I wanted a thin, chocolate-y and crisp - yet chewy cookie and I think we hit the spot with them. I used a cup of the peppermint chips and a cup of toffee bits - the flavor is decidedly peppermint, but has a hint of caramel in the background. The melted toffee also helped to keep them chewy. The chocolate flavor is mild, but it kept the peppermint flavor from being too strong. Don't be afraid of the vinegar in the ingredient list - I've used it before and it keeps the cookies light and I think helps with the crispness. I do want to tinker here and there with the recipe, but Jeff thinks it is good as is.

Dinner tonight uses quick-cooking couscous that is great for when you're running behind on a weeknight. Southwestern Couscous Salad begins with a quick cook of some lightly seasoned chunky turkey breasts. After some chicken broth comes to a boil, frozen corn is added and allowed to briefly cook. Nutty whole-wheat couscous is stirred in and the mixture is left to sit and cook for 5 minutes. We then made a dressing of fresh lime juice, oil, cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper sauce to add some heat. Diced tomatoes, fire roasted red bell peppers and cilantro are tossed with the cooked turkey breast and couscous - then a drizzle of the tangy dressing brings the dish together and keeps everything moist. Fast, healthy and packed with flavor - can't get much better when your short on time!


  1. Yumm, the couscous salad looks delicious!!

  2. The Couscous looks so good. I may have to give that a try.

  3. Lol! I picked some of those chips up today too! And it was the exact same thing. I picked them up, looked at them, put them back, thought for a minute, picked them up, etc. I have a brownie in mind for them, but those cookies look good too!

  4. The cookies look beautiful! I've got to look for those chips!

  5. The Couscous looks delicous!

    Have you tried the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Eating Well yet? I just saw them online ( and wonder if they taste as good as they look!

  6. Ana - Thanks!

    wheresmymind - And fun too!

    Barbara - Hope you try it!

    Erika - Aren't they fun? I can't wait to use them again.

    Tracy - I hope you can find them - there are a bunch of new goodies out there!

    Dani - I have had the recipe marked to try forever... someday I will give them a try!

  7. Ooh!

    I'd not seen those chips before...but I live for their mint chips. Only way I can make my mint crackles for Christmas!

    I'll have to keep an eye out for them...thanks!

  8. Stephanie - Yes, their regular mint chips are good! I really do like these peppermint ones though!

  9. How funny. When my mom was visiting a few weeks ago, she bought a package of those Andes peppermint chips to take home with her. Yeah, right. We broke into them and decided that (besides being tasty straight from the bag) they'd probably also be great in chocolate cookies. Great minds. . . Of course we didn't think about adding toffee. : )

    I can't believe you made 15 new recipes in one week during a kitchen remodel. You do realize you're putting the rest of us cooking slugs to shame, right?

  10. Farmgirl - I have caught Jeff trying to eat out of the bag! I can't wait for the remodel to be done... I'm tired of all these strangers coming and going!

  11. I have tried to find the Andes peppermint crunch candies for your recipe in all the grocery stores in my city (Davis,CA) and have been unsuccessful. Short of buying them on line, and having to pay exorbitant shipping - does anyone have suggestions as to where to find them. Or, if I have to substitute - what would a good substitute be? Thanks for any input on this!

  12. Anonymous - I wish I could help you find them - hopefully someone in your area can help you find a local source!

  13. For the person looking for the Andes mint chips. They have them at our local Wal~Mart.And now that it's close to Christmas they should be located by all the rest of the baking ingredients.They had peppermint crunch and creme de menth.