I adore the Candy Cane Kiss Cookies over at ourbestbites. But I confess, I can only make them once a year as I fear the amount of shortening, butter, and sugars will kill me. You see, it’s not that the recipe contains that much more shortening and butter and sugars than over cookies (well, maybe a little), but it’s that I cannot stop myself at eating just five. Or ten. and so on and etc. etc.. They are just so good. So, I only make them at Christmas and then make sugar-free vows in January. But alas, the other day I discovered Candy Cane Kisses in my freezer. The call of the cookie came.
I answered, but with a magnificent twist – a slimmer, healthier version that is still delicious! But I’m warning you now: You still won’t be able to eat just one which kind of negates the whole healthy twist, but never mind.
The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of butter-flavored shortening. Not only did I not have any in the house, but I did have my favorite butter substitute: yes, the glorious avocado! I’m sure you know where this is going.
The advantage to using avocado in desserts with cocoa powder is that the avocado does not turn the cookie green. So we creamed together just one stick of butter and a small ripe avocado.
Next was 1 Cup White Sugar and 1 Cup Brown Sugar. I once read that in England, madams often cut American recipes in half when it comes to sugar. I didn’t cut it in half, but I went to 3/4 Cup White Sugar and 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar. It turned out great.
Now, the most exciting part of this recipe was the flour. Recently, I wrote about Fudgy Black Bean Brownies, a recent and exciting cooking experiment. They were tasty, rich and fudgy and my sweetums’ were none the wiser for my stealthy substitutions. So, the original Candy Cane Kiss Cookie called for 2 1/2 Cups of White Flour. I cut the flour to 1 1/2 Cups and for the other cup of flour, I used black beans!
It’s perplexing that beans can substitute for flour, but with the brownies, it was terrific. You simply drain and rinse a can of black beans, put them in your food processor or very powerful blender with just a tad of water. Then, blend them up into a nice thick paste. That’s it! But make sure it’s blended very well so that your dessert is rich and smooth.
By using the black beans and avocado, you still have an amazing cookie, but you also have healthy fat, protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates needed for energy.
I brought these cookies to a youth activity at church, and they were a major hit. I did find it funny though, that when I couldn’t contain my excitement over avocado and black bean substitutions, some would not eat another bite – even though they had been previously gobbling! What can you do? I think it’s best to keep quiet about these things. But I hope you’ll try this and be just as smitten as I.
So, without further delay…
Fudgy Black Bean Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
1 small, very ripe avocado
1/2 c. real butter (1 stick)
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
optional: 1 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
1 can of black beans, rinsed, and blended very very well to prevent bits and pieces.
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 12 ounce bag dark chocolate chips
48 Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped (one 10 ounce bag)
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream together softened butter, avocado, brown sugar, and white sugar for 1-2 minutes on medium-high speed or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Meanwhile, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, and cocoa powder. Using a food processor or powerful blender, blend black beans into a nice, thick paste. Add flour mixture and black beans to the avocado/butter/sugar mixture and mix until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
To prevent cookies from flattening out, refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until just set, but centers are still soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes. Use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to cooling rack. Top each cookie with an unwrapped Candy Cane Kiss. Allow to cool completely, long enough for the Kiss to harden. If necessary, after the cookies have cooled, they can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer to re-solidify the Kiss.
Yield: 4 dozen cookies -Adapted from the amazing girls at ourbestbites
Perhaps these yum-yums will help you get through winter – with a little more spring in your step.