Pink Chocolate Surprise Cookies (also known as the cookies that can’t be “beet”)

Sorry if the title of this post made you groan, I can never resist the opportunity to insert a bad food pun.

Since Valentine’s Day is officially in…3 minutes, I figured I’d better keep blogging about all my holiday-themed treats in what appears to be a V-Day baking post marathon.

These cookies.  Wow.  Earlier this week I was perusing the pages of Tastespotting trying to get inspired for my Valentine’s Day baking.  I stumbled on a picture of these cookies, and was immediately drawn to the vibrant hue of the dessert.  Now you must understand that in my baking this week I challenged myself to one task: using beets as a natural dye in a dessert.  You see, I’d been considering making red velvet something-or-anothers for a few weeks, but had always been turned off by my memories of awful tasting red artificial colouring.  When I read that beets were a great replacement for all that fake stuff, I was a little hesitant.  Sure, beets are great in borscht and in other main meal things, but could they really be used in a dessert?

The answer was an overwhelming “yes.”

When I found this recipe I decided I was going to go all out with the beet colouring.  Remember, I’m trying to be brave with this food exploration thing, and this was another big step for me.  Since I was going to make my own beet puree to use in the cookies, I decided the easiest thing for me to do would be to buy canned (but NOT pickled, this is very important!!) beets at the grocery store.  This way I could smartly avoid any time wasted chopping, peeling, and dying my hands a bright shade of magenta.  In the end, it was kind of fun to make my own puree in our food processor.  It turned out looking like some sort of blood-red applesauce, and added the best natural colouring to these cookies.

So how did they turn out?

Well they were AWESOME!  Okay, I know cookies are never healthy, but think about it.  These have vegetables in them and no butter (normally a bad thing, but it worked out in this case).  I guess I’m in a “put vegetables in my desserts” phase after my chocolate zucchini cake, but the trend seems to be working out for me.  My cookies actually turned out to have more of a cake-like whoopie pie consistency, which gave them a perfect chewable quality.  Even my roommate Amanda who is the pickiest eater EVER liked them, although she did initially wrinkle her nose when I told her about the “surprise ingredient.”  I found the beets added almost a sweet after taste to the cookie, enough to keep the eater guessing as to where the great flavour came from.  And of course, they were pink, which is all I really wanted in the first place.

PS: I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this before, but isn’t using coloured paper as the backdrop for my food pictures a wonderful idea?!  I have so, so, so much coloured paper, so this gives me an additional place to use it.  To take my pictures I simply line our world atlas with paper, prop it up against the window sill with my hip, and photograph my heart out.

Recipe: Pink Chocolate Surprise Cookies
Adapted from Making Food and Other Stuff

– 2 1/4 cup flour
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 cup of beets, pureed (see instructions below)
– 3 tbsp canola oil
–  1 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Whisk dry ingredients together in a big bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add the beet puree, vanilla and oil.  Mix with a wooden spoon to combine.  Add chocolate chips and mix well.  Drop tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until the top of the cookie springs back with your touch.  Makes 24 cookies.

Beet puree
Drain a 398 mL can of sliced beets (make sure they’re not pickled beets), keeping the liquid from the can in a separate bowl.  Put the beets into a food processor and add 7 1/2 tbsp of the liquid.  Pulse beets in food processor until they have an applesauce-like consistency.  If the puree is still too thick, add another tablespoon of the liquid.



9 thoughts on “Pink Chocolate Surprise Cookies (also known as the cookies that can’t be “beet”)

  1. You are very creative Hilary. They look great–any chance there’s some left to bring home?
    I should make them for work.

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