Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Caramel Mocha Crunch Cookies

Desserts, Races

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

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

It’s been a couple months since we’ve had a lab birthday to celebrate, but I finally got the chance to whip up some cupcakes for our lab manager’s big day this week! I’m usually up pretty late when I undertake a baking project in the middle of the week, but this time...

Mini Green Tea Cheesecakes

I’m always a little amazed about how much forgotten stuff we find when we’re packing. Our small kitchen has been literally been overflowing with cooking/baking supplies and I just found a brand new mini cheesecake pan hidden behind my fondant tools on top of one of...

Chocolate-Filled Plantain Dessert Gnocchi

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter! I hit up the candy aisle to see if I could find some Easter candy on sale this weekend and was disappointed that almost everything was already sold out! Only the small regular solid chocolate eggs were left – they just can’t...

Strawberry Lemon Mini Bundt Cakes

Apolinaras always gives me the cutest sad puppy dog face when I'm whipping up treats to bring into lab for birthday celebrations. If I'm making cupcakes, I always save a couple for him to enjoy, but I can't just cut into a pie or cake and give him a slice before it's...

Pretzel and Graham Cracker Chocolate Bars

I went to a super fun blogger event on Saturday - Shannon’s annual cookie swap! Last year I made cookies inspired by my very favorite ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby, and this year I wanted to incorporate Nestle’s Flipz White Fudge Coated Pretzels aka crack...

Video: Sugar Cookie Dough Decorations

Who else looooves the Olympics?! I’ve been doing my best to avoid the web and twitter during the day so I don’t accidently read any spoilers before the broadcasts at night. I just love tuning in and watching all the events, and I want to cheer along and be surprised...

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I'm very excited to be featured on Jen's blog, Beantown Baker, as part of her Friday Favs series today!  You'll find my recipe there for these Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Cups.  They have a peanut butter cookie bottom filled with a Reese's cup and are topped with a...

Nutella S’more Tart

Girl Scout cookie season has arrived! We scooped up five boxes from two troops selling boxes at the Davis and Harvard Square T stops. Despite our best attempts to ration the treats, one box of samoas has already disappeared...but they’re small, so you have to eat more...