As a child, my very favorite kind of cookie we made were Choco Mint Snappers. I've always loved the name—they sound a little feisty, don't they? The recipe is from my godmother's family, and they are forever a crowd pleaser with their magic blend of chewiness + peppermint + cinnamon + chocolate. Although we made them year 'round, they always seemed a little bit christmasy to me. I always crave them when the weather starts to cool off and Christmas preparations begin. 

My baking habits have changed since those days, and I haven't had a true choco mint snapper in a few years (although, I'm sure they're still so yummy). For quite some time, I've been trying to figure out an alternative recipe that produces a cookie with similar texture and taste, but with a little less refined sugar. And then, on a whim, I modified a long-time favorite of our's—Summer's Almond Chocolate Chip cookies. The recipe certainly doesn't need any modification; they're already our absolute favorite cookies. However, this variation is delightful for christmastime or any other time we're craving something a little different.

The peppermint adds a coolness, the cinnamon warms things up, cocoa powder adds depth, and the chocolate chips add just a bit of texture. This recipe makes a thin, wide cookie. Personally, we like them chewy, but if you bake them a bit longer, they crisp up. Either way, you can't go wrong. We're one batch down, and I can already tell that these are going to be our go-to Christmas cookies.

Choco Mint Snappers

Slightly adapted from Summer Harm's Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup softened coconut oil

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup almond meal, toasted at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown

1/4 brown rice flour

1/2 baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup mini dark chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almond meal on a parchment-lined sheet. While almond meal is toasting, cream together the coconut oil and coconut sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, cocoa powder, and peppermint, and stir until well-blended. In a small bowl, stir together remaining dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips. Combine the dry ingredients and the wet mixture, adding the chocolate chips just before the mixture is blended together. 

On a baking sheet, spoon 1 to 1 1/4 inch balls of dough, keeping plenty of space between the cookies, because they do spread. Summer recommends baking six cookies per sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 1/2 minutes, or until the centers are just set. For crispier cookies, check doneness at 9 or 10 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!