Holidays used to be all fun and no stress. When you're a kid, life itself is pretty much all fun and no stress, but holidays are especially that way. When you're a kid, all you have to do is show up and wonderful things happen. People give you candy and let you run around in the dark on Halloween. They feed you delicious food till you're ready to burst on Thanksgiving. And on Christmas, there are toys and cookies galore! Now that I am an adult, a little more is required of me than to simply show up. There is candy to buy, costumes to be made, food to prepare, parties to plan, and presents to wrap. But my favorite part of the holidays remains the same. I love baking cookies. This past Thanksgiving, in addition to the cheesy vegetable casserole I brought, I tried out a new cookie recipe and it completely won me over, not to mention everyone else who tasted it!
I can't let a holiday go by without baking something sweet, and since cookie season is upon us I decided to try these Cookies & Cream Cookies and bring them in little goodie bags for each family. I happened across the recipe online and instead of taking its place on my mental to-bake list, this recipe simply demanded to be made. In fact, I stopped at Wegman's that very day and bought the key ingredient, Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Drops. It's hard to say why I was so compelled to make these cookies. Maybe it was the use of yummy Hershey drops (I am a huge Hershey fan). Maybe it was the chocolately-ness of the recipe (I am a huge chocolate fan). Or it could be the opportunity to make cookies (I am a huge cookie fan). Now that I think about, it's really quite obvious why I needed to make these!
The recipe turned out amazingly good. Really. Really good. I don't want to oversell these cookies... but... they tasted like they came straight from heaven! There is no doubt in my mind that you will love them. The Hershey Cookies 'n' Creme Drops alone are fantastic, and if you like cookies and cream, my recommendation is that you buy two bags--one for baking and one for snacking.
With Christmas around the corner, I know I will be trying out new recipes and making old favorites. There is holiday shopping to do and gifts to wrap and parties to plan. But no matter how much holiday stress comes my way, I excitedly await baking sweet delights like these. Enjoy!
Cookies & Cream Cookies
Slightly adapted from Cookies and Cups
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used regular size chocolate chips)
12 oz. Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Drops
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
On low, slowly beat in cocoa powder until well incorporated. Mix in your remaining dry ingredients. (I deviated from the instructions a little here and sifted together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and then mixed them into the butter/sugar mixture. They came out absolutely fine. Next time I will try it the way Cookies and Cups instructs because her way only dirties one bowl.)
Fold in the Cookies 'n' Creme Drops and chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
Drop by large tablespoons on a parchment lined baking sheet.
I recommend under-baking these, so bake for approximately 12 minutes or until edges are set. (I began checking at 10 minutes.)
When done baking let cool baking sheet for 2 -3 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling. (I let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes.)
Update: After making these a second time, and trying beating the cocoa into the butter/mixture before adding the rest of the dry ingredients, I find I prefer my method of sifting the dry ingredients together then beating them all in at once.