Caramel Mocha Crunch Cookies

I ran my very first 5K last weekend! After being inspired by the book Born to Run and many runners including my half-marathon champion Dad and bloggers like Shannon and Elina, I decided to try jogging on the treadmill in January on a whim. Even though I’ve always been pretty athletic, running has never come naturally to me, so you can imagine my surprise when I actually got hooked fairly quickly.

I’m really enjoying it because I feel so energized after I jog, and like I’ve done something good for my body, unlike when I use the elliptical or bike where I tend to have trouble pushing myself. I also love just being able to throw on my shoes and run outside, without having to trek all the way to the gym to use the machines. So, when Shannon mentioned she was running the Ras na hEireann 5K, an Irish themed race celebrating St. Patty’s Day, I decided to sign up and use the race as motivation to make myself run a bit farther and faster every week.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t corporate at all on Sunday and we had to run the whole thing in the gusty cold rain! The wind was blowing hard and the water cups were flying off the tables. My pants got so waterlogged that I kept having to hike them up, and I actually got too hot because I wore too many layers under Apolinaras’ bright yellow rain jacket, but I still had fun and managed to meet up with speedy Shannon after the race! I was pretty happy with my time of 32 minutes flat – I still had some steam left when I was done, and I know I will be able to get faster as I increase my training and figure out how to run a smarter race!

To celebrate, I decided to bake some cookies! I made a rich mocha dough, stuffed a balled-up caramel into the center of each cookie, and then rolled them in chopped macadamia nuts. I polished off a few of these right away – good thing I had already worked out!

Caramel Mocha Crunch Cookies
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
18 caramels, rolled into balls
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped

Directions:
Heat oven to 350˚F. Place butter and chocolate in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds; mix until smooth, microwaving for 15 additional seconds at a time, as needed. Place melted chocolate mixture in a large bowl and stir in both types of sugar, instant coffee, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until soft dough forms.

Wrap cookie dough evenly around the 18 caramels and roll each cookie in chopped macadamia nuts. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350˚F for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Makes 18 cookies.

Nutrition: 187 calories, 10.9g fat, 1.6g fiber, 2.4g protein per cookie
Cost: $0.31 per cookie

51 Responses to Caramel Mocha Crunch Cookies

  1. WOO HOO! KERSTIN KERSTIN KERSTIN!!! You made it! In that horrid weather, too! My hat’s off to you, girl!
    And now, you totally deserve a treat like those amazing crunchy cookies! Yum~

  2. Congratulations on the 5K!!! You ROCK – I’m so impressed that you made it through all that rain with such energy and enthusiasm! You’re such an inspiration!!

    Your cookies look like THE perfect way to celebrate – mocha and caramel = heaven! :-)

  3. Congrats Kerstin! Hopefully every run you do after this will only be easier because of the weather conditions!

    A caramel stuffed cookie is ingenious!!!

  4. I agree- running gives workouts a purpose where the elliptical is just a way to “do your time” at the gym. You will definitely improve as you keep training. Great first 5K pace!! :) … and those cookies are a wonderful way to celebrate your accomplishments. They look absolutely delicious!

  5. Congrats on the 5K, Kerstin! That’s a wonderful time, especially with that nasty weather! Yuck!

    Those cookies look like the best cookies I’ve seen a really, really, really long time. That could be trouble!!!!!

  6. Congrats on the race! Your cookies look and sound delicious! I will have to start running, it just might work the calories off after eating your cookies! Chocolate rules!

  7. I made similar cookies, but no coffee flavor. Just chocolate and caramel. I sprinkled sea salt on top. Yum! I will have to try these next time around!

  8. CONGRATS!!! great race :) these look like a fabulous way to celebrate, too, while apolinaris was at the gym! haha, caramel is one of my fav’s, I love that there’s a little surprise :) hmm, where were these after lunch?? i was totally craving a sweet ending!

  9. Congrats chica! If you need any advice about training or anything like that, feel free to ask! I don’t know a ton but I did have real coaches for my marathon who gave me tons of good advice.

    These cookies look like the best way to celebrate.

    I don’t know how you guys ran that in such intense rain…just think of how amazingly you would have done if it were 70 and sunny!

  10. Congrats on your running your first 5k! To bad it was in such crappy weather. But I’m glad you did it and have that fire inside of you to run more. Woo-hoo! Love that pic of you and Shannon. Too cute!

    I’m not a runner and I never felt ‘natural’ running. Not sure why? But, if I knew there were going to be those cookies waiting for me at the finish line, I’d run a 5K any day!

  11. running in the rain and dragging along waterlogged britches definitely earns you some delicious cookies, and these fit that description! how unique and enticing! good for you, kerstin. :)

  12. Congratulations on your first race! I’m trying to get ready for an upcoming race but am having knee issues and may not get to run it. Oh well, next time. Your cookies look like a delicious way to celebrate!

  13. The cookies look so good and you look like you had a blast running. I like to power walk. My feet just hurt too much when I’ve tried running!!!

  14. Congrats on the 5K!!!! That is wonderful- and way to stick to it despite the nasty nasty weather! Adorable pics. And those cookies? Oh my gosh yummy! They look professional

  15. Amazing job! I’m so proud of you! I’ve never ran a race like that before. Congratulations! Are you going to run anymore?

    The cookies look amazing too. They look very chocolatey and delicious.

  16. Great job on the race! A few of my friends did it, but I was working so I used that as an excuse not to go.

    On another note, those cookies look absolutely amazing. Rich mocha dough with a ball of caramel stuffed inside — wow… are there any left?!

  17. Thanks so much everyone!! I just signed up for my second 5K in May – yay!

    Shannon – Haha, yes, exactly :) I totally should have brought these to lunch – I can’t believe I didn’t think of that!

    Joanne – I would love your advice and will be emailing you :)

    Lisa – I hope your knee gets better soon! That happened to me too (I had to take 3 weeks off in February) and I know how frustrating it is when you just want to go run.

    Liesl – Wow, that’s awesome and inspiring – good luck!!

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