Christmas Eve traditions are special.
That doesn’t mean the tradition can’t be #strangebutgood!
Every year we have family friends over for desserts and drinks after dinner. And every year I make a different dessert and drink.
In my version of heaven, cookies have the nutritional merits of spinach. My German Chocolate Chip Cookies do not qualify as spinach, but they do have a few redeeming qualities. I’m declaring these #strangebutgood because they are a cake-turned-cookie, and it’s a little strange for a holiday cake-cookie to be sort-of healthy.
The most important lesson I have learned when you are trying to make a dessert a little healthier is not to go too far. You’ll see here that while I made some subs, I still left some “real” flour and sugar in. This is important if you’re going to be sharing with people who aren’t used to eating like a blogger.
The healthier subs were spelt flour and NuNaturals’ new Tagatose sweetener as a sugar alternative for some of the sweet. The most important redeeming quality is that they taste delicious… which they were.
Like the cake, these cookies are a combination of chocolate and coconut. I loved the chewy bits of coconut against the melt-y chocolate chips. That with the crunch from the nuts made the texture in this cookie fantastic. I used macadamia nuts because they are my mom’s favorite, but almonds or cashews would go well here too.
My healthy changes went undetected. In fact, I never told anyone they are healthy-ish. Don’t be afraid to sneak a little #strangebutgood healthiness into your cookies!
German Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 C butter, softened
- 1 C packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 C NuNaturals Presweet Tagatose
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 C flour
- 3/4 C spelt flour
- 1/2 C cocoa powder
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 C chopped macadamia nuts
- 1.5 C unsweetened coconut flakes
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla, and coconut extract in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir dry ingredients into the butter mixture, until fully incorporated.
Fold in chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut.
Spoon batter on to parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins.
As much as I like to try new things, my favorite cocktail is a classic Manhattan. It’s one of the oldest cocktails. It’s a simple mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. With a marinated cherry (don’t forget – it’s the best part!). With my favorite drink in mind, this year I created Christmas in Manhattan.
A week before Christmas Eve, I poured a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon into an empty ACV bottle (typical blogger…) and added 2 cinnamon sticks and 2 cups of fresh cranberries, sliced in half. I took another 1/2 C of the cranberries, stabbed a hole in them, and covered them with Gran Marnier. Both mixtures were then stored in a cool place for the week.
What resulted on Christmas Eve was a cinnamon-laced, festive, #strangebutgood interpretation of my favorite classic.
Christmas in Manhattan
- 2 oz. Cranberry-Cinnamon infused bourbon
- 1 oz. Domaine De Canton (ginger liqueur)
- 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
- 3-4 drops orange bitters
- Gran Marnier-soaked cranberry, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker add all ingredients and shake vigorously.
Pour into a martini glass (or short glass). Add a Gran Marnier-soaked cranberry for garnish and serve.
Makes 1 drink.
Note: I like this drink straight up, but you could add a splash of water or serve over ice if you prefer.
Want to Join?
All you need to do to join this link up is create a concoction that is Strange But Good, post it with the Strange But Good logo, and link up to your recipe. (See below for code.) In the Strange But Good post each week, you’ll see a link to add your own recipe and picture at the bottom of the page. I’d prefer you use a new strange but good dish, but if you realllly have a good previous one you can add it.
Not a blogger? You can play too! Send me an email with a picture of your food and a brief description by noon on Thursday and I’ll include it in Friday’s post (too late this week, obv… but next week it’s on!).
This is the last dessert or drink thing I post for a while. I swear.
Do your families/friends mind if you make a healthier versions of foods?
What are some of your tricks for lightening up recipes?