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Chocolate Chip Cookie Croutons #Sponsored

Despite the fact that I haven’t finished raking the leaves in my yard, we have a solid layer of snow on top.  The only thing that keeps me moving forward is that as the weather gets colder, the beverages get hotter.  I’ve always been a sucker for hot chocolate, tea, coffee, anything warm and delightful, but it’s a real downer having to skip the marshmallows on top (except on the rare occasion I get my hands on vegetarian marshmallows).  When I saw amazing looking chocolate chip marshmallows this season, I knew something had to be done to keep me from going crazy with envy. Chocolate Chip Cookie Croutons That’s where the idea for cookie croutons came in.  Josh and I have been arguing over whose idea these were, that’s how good they are.  Josh never tries to take credit for any of my creations.  Hot chocolate is already packed with calories and cookies, unfortunately, are not as low calorie as marshmallows, so I knew I had do something to bring the calorie counts down. Chocolate Chip Cookie Croutons I’d heard of but never tried Monk Fruit in the Raw.  When I received some for the Show Us Your Sweets recipe contest for The Recipe Redux, I knew these croutons were the perfect place to try them out.  It’s a natural, zero calorie sugar replacer that measures cup for cup just like sugar.  The package recommends not subbing out all of the sugar in baked goods, so I paired it with maple syrup for a naturally sweetened treat. Chocolate Chip Cookie Croutons Unlike cookie crumbs in a glass of milk, these babies actually float!  Even better, they maintain crunch for a LONG time in a glass of hot cocoa.  These would also be great over ice cream, with yogurt, mixed into a fruit salad, or just grabbing a handful to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Croutons
Author: 
Serves: 22
 

Ingredients
  • 2 c white whole wheat flour
  • ½ tbsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • ½ c Monk Fruit in the Raw (see note)
  • dash cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp flax meal + ½ c water (See note for substituting eggs)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ c unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 oz high quality chocolate, chopped, or ⅔ c chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spritzing with nonstick spray or lining with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, powder, salt, Monk Fruit in the Raw, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flax with the water and let sit for a few minutes. Add the extract, syrup, and applesauce and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the wet to the dry and stir until almost just combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to distribute, being careful not to over stir. The dough will be a little thick, but all flour should be incorporated (add a little extra applesauce if necessary, but not enough to make the dough sticky or wet).
  5. Shape the dough on the cooking sheet so that it’s approximately 4 inches wide, 22 inches long, and a little less than an inch thick.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the loaf into ¾ – 1 inch strips (cutting 20-something strips along the long edge is easiest). Cut those strips into 5 – 10 pieces, depending on how large or small you want your croutons.
  8. Put the pieces back on the baking sheet and spritz with a little nonstick spray. Bake for 5 minutes, turn, and return to the oven. Repeat until the pieces have baked a total of 20 additional minutes, adjusting the time as necessary so as to get crunchy pieces but not burnt. They will crisp a little more as they cool.
  9. Serve with hot cocoa, ice cream, fruit, or eat on their own.

Notes
Because I intended these to pair with other sweet things, the croutons themselves are only mildly sweet so as not to be overwhelming. For a more indulgent cookie flavor, increase the amount of sweetener. If increasing substantially (more than half of a cup), use regular sugar. Monk Fruit in the Raw measures cup for cup compared to sugar and can be wholey swapped out for traditional sugar if it’s not available.
If you’d rather use eggs, swap out the flax and water for four eggs. This will add additional moisture, so decrease to ¼ c of applesauce and increase if necessary.
Makes Approx 110 croutons, serving size: 5 croutons

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 5 Calories: 80 Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 14g Fiber: 2g Protein: 2g

I received free samples from Cumberland Packing Corp., maker of Monk Fruit In The Raw. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cumberland Packing Corp. and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


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18 Comments
    Mireya Merritt Dec 16, 2013

    It looks like I’m still getting around to people who participated in the Monk sugar event. You were very creative! I never heard of sweet croutons and I think its a great idea. Sometimes I just want something to take the edge off a sugar craving and this sounds like a good answer.

    The Domestic Rebel Dec 11, 2013

    Chocolate chip cookie croutons? Are you for serious!? LOVE IT. Actually, for being a fan of marshmallows, I don’t usually like them in my hot cocoa, either. But I DO enjoy having cookies in and on everything in sight, so this makes perfect sense to me 😀 I feel like singing that Enrique Iglesias song “Hero” to you right now.

    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef Dec 08, 2013

    What a brilliant idea. I don’t enjoy marshmallows in hot chocolate but I love dunking cookies in it. Love it!

    Joanne Dec 04, 2013

    These are WAY better than marshmallows!! (although you can get vegan marshmallows at Whole Foods!).

      Kelly Dec 04, 2013

      Thanks, Joanne. Unfortunately, I’m around 90 minutes from the nearest Whole Foods. My local organic market intermittently carries Dandied vegan marshmallows, but they’re always sold out during Smores and hot cocoa season. I’ve tried to stock up but instead just ate piles of marshmallows because I could 😉

    RDelicious Kitchen Dec 03, 2013

    i love this recipe! what a clever idea. I’m going to make these with my hot chocolate

    Ashley Dec 03, 2013

    Never heard of monkfruit, that’s a cool sugar alternative!

    Cindy Kerschner Dec 03, 2013

    Very cool and like the added crunch for ice cream.

    cookingactress Dec 02, 2013

    just….SUCH a genius idea!!!!! Loving the idea of these beauties in some hot cocoa!

    Serena Ball Dec 02, 2013

    Love the photos with the tree lights in back…and agree w/ other comments…these are BRILLIANT!

    Deanna Segrave-Daly Dec 02, 2013

    Ok – whomever’s idea this is – it is BRILLIANT! Cannot wait to try out these babies.

    Abbie Dec 02, 2013

    Oh my gosh. Chocolate Chip Cookie Croutons?
    You have just officially wrecked my life. #MINDBLOWN
    Pinning!!

    Kelly Dec 02, 2013

    I’m thinking on coconut milk ice cream with some toasted pecans. Perfection.

    Kelly Dec 02, 2013

    Thanks, Marcie! I’m definitely missing marshmallows less now that I have these.

    cleaneatingveggiegirl Dec 01, 2013

    Wow, you are seriously SO creative! These sound awwwwesome! I like Becky’s idea to add them to ice cream too :).

    Becky @ Olives n Wine Dec 01, 2013

    Woah woah woah woah – chocolate chip cookie croutons! Get in my belly! I love this idea. They’d be perfect on ice cream too 🙂

    Marcie@flavorthemoments Dec 01, 2013

    Chocolate chip cookie croutons….who needs marshmallows? Not me? These are a great idea, Kelly!