Do you like surprises?
That could go either way for me depending on the situation and circumstances.
Good Surprise: Finding an excuse to create a new cookie recipe.
Good surprise: Oh! Nuts allowing me to select something from their vast online store to use for my holiday baking.
Good surprise: I selected dark chocolate covered strawberries and stuffed them into these cookies and biting into them is a surprise party for your taste buds.
The proverbial expression, “Like a kid in a candy store” literally described me as I was browsing over the thousands of items they carry and trying to decide what to order.
These chocolate covered strawberries sounded too good to pass up and I’m glad I chose them.
These resulting cookies are very dark chocolatey. They’re the cookie equivalent of a really dark rich brownie.
Not overly sweet and full of rich, dark, intense chocolate flavor.
The cookies are very soft and chewy, too, and not dry in the least.
They’re everything I want in a double chocolate cookie with the added surprise of chocolate covered strawberries.
It’s not essential that you have chocolate covered strawberries to stuff in these cookies, but it sure makes for a nice surprise if you do.
Or check out Oh! Nuts’ other chocolate-covered dried fruit such as pineapple, cherries, apricots, blueberries. I could have a major field day shopping.
But for now, the field day is right here with one of these.
Stuffed Dark Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Chocolate Covered Strawberries (with Vegan & Gluten Free options)
(Note: Stuffing them is optional and what you stuff them with is up to you. The recipe can be made without stuffing them)
1/2 c butter, softened
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 /2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c + chocolate chips (I used TJ’s dark chocolate chips; if you are not stuffing them with anything, you may want to increase this amount to 1/2 c or 2/3 c, or more as desired)
Preheat oven to 325F. In a large mixing bowl combine room-temperature softened butter and sugars and whip by hand (or do it in a mixer but I did it by hand). Add the vanilla extract, egg, baking soda, and cocoa powder and stir to combine. Then add the flour, slowly, and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
I suggest putting the mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes and chilling the dough before scooping onto cookie sheets.
After 10 minutes or so, scoop the chilled dough onto Silpat-lined, parchment-lined, or sprayed cookie sheets in 1 inch balls, about 2 inches apart. I highly recommend this cookie scoop. It has changed the results of my baking dramatically. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $4 bucks.
After you have scooped out the cookie dough balls, stuff them with the chocolate-covered strawberries. I lightly nestled 1 chocolate covered strawberry into each cookie and on some cookies I folded the dough over and made a complete “seal” and on others, I left them partially “open” so that you could see a glimpse of the chocolate-covered strawberry peeking out. Your choice.
Bake at 325F for 9 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven even if they look a bit underdone as they will firm up. Allow the cookies to cool well on the cookie sheets before attempting to remove them.
Yields: 19 small/medium cookies using my 1 inch cookie scoop. Or, I would expect to yield about one dozen larger sized cookies.
In addition to not “having to” stuff with anything, you could stuff them with just about anything that strikes your fancy or you have on hand, i.e. Snickers Bar Stuffed Cookies, stuff with leftover Halloween candy, chocolate-covered cherries, a dollop of cream cheese, a few pieces of dried fruit like raisins, dates, or mango, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, marshmalllows, etc.
Add more than 1/3 c of chocolate chips or use other kinds of chips such as peanut butter, toffee bits, or white chocolate chips.
To make the cookies even darker and richer in chocolate flavor, increase the cocoa powder from 1/4 c to 1/3 c and reduce the flour by a few tablespoons.
To make gluten free, use a gluten free flour blend.
To make vegan, use margarine or Earth Balance in place of the butter and use 1 chia/flax egg instead of the egg.
These were definitely a good surprise.
The cookies remind me quite a bit of the Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies I’ve made in the past, but today’s recipe has no peanut butter.
And there’s something about how dark and rich the stuffed cookies are that makes me think of Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting which are the richest, moistest, and most decadent brownies I have ever eaten and I’m a tough critic.
I going to make these for holiday parties because I think they’re unique and different and I can’t wait to see the expression on people’s faces when they bite into the surprise.
It was great watching Scott and Skylar’s expression as they ate these. Skylar asked me, “Mommy what is this little ball in the cookies?” and I tried to explain the concept of chocolate-covered dried fruit to a four year old.
She nodded and just kept chewing her cookie and with her chocolate stained face said, “Mommy, I really like these little balls inside your cookies”.
Good Surprise: Cooking and baking for my family and seeing their joy when they like something makes me really happy.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week with lots of good surprises and happy times with your friends and loved ones.
And hopefully there’s cookies involved.
1. Are you a chocolate fan?
If you say no, I don’t fully understand you. But I know some people are just meh about chocolate. My mother is actually one of those people. She’d rather have banana bread than chocolate cake or would rather have a piece of apple pie than a chocolate cookie.
For me, I love desserts of all kinds but chocolate is very near and dear to my heart. Check out my Chocolate Recipes category if you need proof.
2. Have you ever had chocolate covered strawberries, cherries, or any other chocolate-covered items?
And so do memories of chocolate-covered cherries from Russel Stover’s candy boxes on many Valentine’s Days in years past. I actually don’t like them that much but my dad loves those things. Something about the gooey “juice” inside them I am not crazy about. I’d rather have a cookie.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Week!