When you are prohibited from running marathons (at least until next November when everyone no one in their right mind will try to stop you from hitting the streets of NYC for 26.2 miles).  (Mom, I’m talking to you.)

You have to get your adrenaline rush on somehow.

And no, road biking will never quite do, no matter what your orthopedist thinks your parents should get you for Christmas.

But cookie baking?  That’s an untapped source of excitatory neurotransmitters, right there.  A black market of endorphins, if you will.


And extreme cookie baking?  That’s like the ultra-marathon of the baked goods circuit.  (Insanity.)

We all know I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge.  Especially not one that involves so many chocolate chips.


Four cookie swaps.  Two states.  Eight dozen cookies.  Two pounds of butter.

Lace up those running shoes.  Break out the parchment paper.

And bring it.
Picnik collage

Here’s the rundown.

Shannon’s cookie swap in BOSTON with some of my most favorite bloggers: rainbow cookies.  Gotta dress to impress.

Lori’s International Blogger Cookie Exchange: Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies  A delicious twist on a classic.

New York City Annual Holiday Cookie Swap and The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap  – Italian chocolate almond cookies – chewy bites of chocolate espresso amaretto heaven – and cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow peppermint cookies – sweet salty crunchy chewy  minty goodness.  In extra large cookie form.

And yes, I do realize I’m going to have to run a marathon just to make up for all the calories I ate in cookie dough and cookies swapped.  But at least I got those happy hormones pumpin’.  And that’s totally all that counts, right?

I also have to give a MAJOR thanks to Alex of Yums and Loves for her delicious peanut butter cup cookies, Jessica of My Baking Heart for her chewy spicy awesome ginger cookies, and Alayna of Pink Apron Baker for her perfect-for-coffee-dipping (and we all know I drink a TON of coffee) Holiday Biscotti, all of which were the cookies that I received in the great food blogger cookie swap!

GIVEAWAY WINNERS (as determined by Random Integer Generator)
The winner of my Shabby Apple Giveaway is Melissa of Fried Ice and Donut Holes!

The winners of my Buitoni Giveaway are Kim of Stirring the Pot and Colleen of What’s Baking in the Barbershop!

I’ll be contacting both of you guys!

Picnik collage

Italian Chocolate-Almond Cookies (Strazzate)
Makes 3 dozen, adapted from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals 


  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour (6 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed almond meal (5 1/4 oz)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted skin-on almonds
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 1/3 cup strong black coffee, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 36 additional chocolate chips, for topping the cookies


  1. Whisk together the spelt flour, almond meal, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Take care to break up any clumps of almond meal or brown sugar with your fingers.  Stir in the chocolate chips and almonds.  Make a well in the center.  In a small bowl, whisk together the Amaretto, coffee and olive oil.  Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the dry ingredients and combine with a dough whisk or wooden spoon just until a soft and moist dough forms.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350.  Line 2 large rimless baking sheets with parchment paper.  Have a small bowl with water ready.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop (about a tbsp), scoop the dough onto baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each one.  Gently press a chocolate chip into the center of each cookie.  Chill the sheets with the cookies for fifteen minutes.
  4. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the cookies have spread and firmed up but still yield when gently pressed with a finger, 16 to 18 minutes.  Remove the cookies from the oven, but leave them on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.  They will continue to firm up as they cool.

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Peppermint Cookies
Makes 15-20 super large cookies or about 30-40 medium large cookies, adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar 



  • 16 tbsp butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (240 grams) flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 recipe cornflake crunch (recipe to follow)
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped candy cane Hershey’s kisses
  • 1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows


  1. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  3. Still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch, chocolate chips, and kisses just until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 to 45 seconds.  Paddle in the mini marshmallows until just incorporated.
  4. Using a 2 3/4-ounce cookie scoop for the super large cookies or a large cookie scoop for the medium large cookies, portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.  Pat the tops of hte cookie dough domes flat.  Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.  Do NOT bake your cookies from room temperature – they will not hold their shape.
  5. Heat the oven to 375.
  6. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pans.  Bake for 18 minutes for super large cookies or 10-12 minutes for large cookies.  The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread.  The cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown toward the center when done.
  7. Cool the cookies completely on teh sheet pans before transferring them to a plate or to an airtight container for storage.  At room temp the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days, in the freezer they will keep for 1 month.

Cornflake Crunch
Makes about 360 grams (4 cups), adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook


  • 170 grams (1/2 12-oz box, 5 cups) cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 9 tbsp butter, melted


  1. Heat the oven to 275.
  2. Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size.  Add the milk powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix.  Add the butter and toss to coat.  As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.
  3. Spread the clusters on a parchment or silpat-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.
  4. Cool the cornflake crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe.  Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week. In the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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86 Responses to Italian Chocolate Almond Cookies and Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Peppermint Cookies

  1. I absolutely love love putting cornflakes in my cookie doughs. My non-baker friends think I am crazy but then again they always LOVE my cookies so not so crazy after all! Anyway, these two cookies recipes would look great in my kitchen. So when can you come over and make them?

  2. Cara says:

    I’m totally with you on that cookie baking adrenaline rush. That was my day Friday!

    And PS. The peppermint cornflake marshmallow things? If you want to come back and swap some of those? I will make you anything you want in return!

  3. I’m loving all of these, but I have my eyes on those cornflake cookies! Brilliance!

  4. The cornflake cookies look perfect! Just the right texture and awesome flavors, of course. 🙂 I’m a huge fan of the candy cane Hershey kisses and have been known to chop them up and add them to cookies or brownies! Delish.

  5. Pam says:

    That is some marathon baking!!

  6. Lora says:

    Yea for those chocolate peppermint cornflake cookies! I’ve never participated in a cookie sway. Sounds like a lot of fun.

  7. Mary says:

    What perfect additions to the holiday cookie plate. They really sound wonderful, Joanne. I’d love to have one or two with my morning coffee. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. Elizabeth says:

    It was SO good to finally meet you in person! Fitting that you made one of my absolute favorite cookies. I’m so excited I now have my own stash of them. Can’t wait to meet up with you in the city!

  9. bellini says:

    That is a lot of cookies Joanne. I would need to run 3 marathons consecutively, months at the gym and a lumpectomy of the thighs at my age:D

  10. Foodycat says:

    That’s a lot of cookies! Much more appealing to me than running marathons!

  11. Love your cookie baking marathon!!

    Btw, you are bursting my bubble with the lack of biking in NYC…. What will I do if I get accepted to MSKCC??? 😛

  12. daphne says:

    I don’t know where to look!!! So many delicious cookies at one go! Your house will smell so good with all the sweets!!

  13. I was sad to miss this swap due to exams — but am now REALLY sad because these cookies ALL look incredible.

  14. yess!!! conrflake/marshmellow/peppermint cookies are like my dream come true!! taunting me this morning while i snack on my yogurt and oatmeal 🙂

  15. Claudia says:

    Oh man! I thought I had my cookie baking all mapped out for the week. Gotta add these.

  16. I loved eating those cornflake cookies and sure I would have loved your italian cookies, too! I think you win for the cookie billion swaps this year:-)

  17. Faith says:

    Mmm, cornflakes sound like such a yummy addition to cookies! Extreme cookie baking sounds like my kind of event, lol!

  18. Oh yum! The Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Peppermint Cookies look delish! I happen to have a box of Trader Joe’s Corn Flakes, so I need to make the Cornflake Crunch. I wonder what else I could use it for? I also plan on making your SP Chocolate Chip Cookies this week! 🙂 Have a wonderful Monday!

  19. elly says:

    Reading the title of your post, I thought for sure the Italian chocolate almond cookies would be my favorite of the post, but then you went and added candy cane kisses to a cookie. Be still my heart!

  20. Love cornflakes in cookies! These have a lot going on and look awesome!

  21. Barbara says:

    Both cookies are winners, Joanne. Love the almond flavors in the first and the triple threat in the second. The marshmallows melted in the most divine way….
    Why not try spinning to get your high? I have friends who swear by it…and it’s better than road work in the winter + safer.

  22. Rona says:

    These all look delicious! I am impressed that you were able to participate in 4 cookie swaps! Although, cookie swaps are such a great idea! My sister and I made over 6 dozen cookies for the Great Blogger Cookie swap and it was so tiring but worth it!

  23. Thats a lot of cookies. I had corn flake cookies also, they are a great addition. I like that crunch recipe

  24. brocstar says:

    Anything with peppermint + marshmallows HAS to be good!
    Today is my first day baking since finals! I think those are going on the list.

  25. Amy says:

    A cookie marathon. Now that’s an event I can get behind! And I did just buy a ton of butter at Costco (as if there’s any other way.) As soon as my candied pecans stop dominating my oven, I’m on those peppermint ones.

  26. Maria Speck says:


    Fantastic ~ your strazzate with spelt flour look stunning. Thrilled you enjoyed them, and thank you for this beautiful post!


  27. Ranjani says:

    Well if these cookies are nearly as good as your rainbow cookies…feel free to mail me some =). Great to meet you yesterday!

  28. Nicole, RD says:

    Those cornflake crunch cookies sound pretty healthy! Hardly any sugar! 🙂 But plenty of butter to make’em great! I love cereal in baked goods for that crunch factor. I need to remember this for when I do TONS of baking. I committed to taking the Christmas cookies again this year and I will need enough for about 40! And obviously people want to try most every variety…so that’s a lot of cookies! 🙂

    I LOL’ed at “black market of endorphins”, that was great 🙂

  29. Beth says:

    There’s no such thing as too many cookies at this time of year. Your recipes look terrific!

  30. sofia says:

    ohhhhh momofuku. i need to recreate one of their cookies stat. these look amaaaazing.

  31. Great baking! You always find such amazing recipes!

  32. Rachana says:

    I’d love to have a few of these delicious cookies with my cuppa 🙂

  33. Megan says:

    So sad I missed these… and your visit. They sound awesome!

  34. Shannon says:

    that is a lot of cookie swaps!! loved your rainbow cookies 🙂 but these sound alright too, i guess… 😉

  35. Katerina says:

    They would definitely increase my adrenaline if I had them in front of me, that’s for sure Joanne!Now all I can do is just admiring them from a distance!

  36. Mo 'Betta says:

    I got a rush just looking at the pictures. Holy yum!

  37. Wow, you had a serious baking marathon. I am seriously trying those Italian chocolate almond cookies – love any opportunity to get my coffee into my cookies.

    I’d love you to share this post at Cookbook Sundays, which I’m now hosting weekly on my blog.

    Happy cookie eating xo

  38. Pam says:

    They both looks FANTASTIC! I need to get baking!

  39. I think I need to run a marathon just from thinking about eating all of those delicious cookies! They both sound great, but I have to say, the Italian Chocolate-Almond Cookies sound like they were made just for me!

  40. Have you tried spin? It’s great cross training.

    I totally want that cornflake crunch.

  41. I really need to get on with the Christmas baking. I haven’t made one single thing. This makes me sad. Not because I love baking but clearly from your photos, I am MISSING OUT!

  42. Kristin says:

    Good golly miss Molly you made a lot of cookies! I think I will only make two kinds of cookies this year since it is just the Mr. and I. The last thing I want to do is gain a ton of weight before I got home to see our families for the holidays. I did that 2 years ago and I am still working off the holiday weight.

  43. You’ve been busy! Love these cookies…yum!

  44. Yum, I’ll take one of each! Can you come over and bake my holiday cookies for me…I’m just not in the mood ;P

  45. Juliana says:

    Oh Joanne, can I have one of each as well? They all look so tasty and so different. Would love to try them accompanied by a cup of hot tea.
    Hope you have a wonderful week and thanks for this awesome cookies 🙂

  46. Pierce says:

    Joanne – that is some cookie marathon!! Mouthwatering cookie pron. Bring it, baby!! Congrats to the winners of Buitoni giveaway too!

  47. goodness i did miss quite a cookie swap didn’t I?
    damn, now i’m sad.
    please do not run 26 miles for a long time, your body is not prepared for it. and don’t just hit another page to stop reading my message. lol I’m serious woman

  48. SallyBR says:

    Cornflakes in cookies? Amazing, I must be living a very sheltered life, never heard of it, but… seems perfect, a little crunch never hurt anyone

    I’d say yeah, BRING IT! 😉

  49. vianney says:

    Wow girl your on a roll!! How fun a cookie swap. the cornflake cookies are so happening, yummy!!

  50. Kristen says:

    I have decided that 2012 is the year that I join every stinkin’ challenge that comes my way. I really need to get out more. I didn’t even know about the great food blogger cookie swap until today and geesh there are 624 people signed up!! What hole have I been living in???

  51. Erica says:

    I am making my holiday cookies plan today and these sound amazing! I am not a great baker, but I have to try yours!

  52. Ok these sound delicious! They look so amazing! Im not going to be able to think of anything but these babies when I am eating my flavourless low cal cookie this morning 🙁

  53. OohLookBel says:

    Very festive! Baking keeps me on my toes because my oven is so temperamental that you have to keep an eagle eye on anything that’s in it, otherwise it’s burnt to a crisp. Speaking of crisp, these crunchy cookies look really delectable.

  54. Hotly Spiced says:

    Your cookies look perfect and so edible. Shame about your marathon running. That must be quite a blow.

  55. Victoria says:

    Damn damn damn! I have been literally craving cookies for the past several hours and then I open up your blog and you’re just killing me here. How do you know my secret shame?

    PS Why are you avoiding me? I haven’t seen you in ages. Let’s do something sooooooon!!

  56. Joanne, all I can say it Amazing! Amazing! Amazing ! Absolutely love your recipes for the cookies and I have to try these recipes, and could I order a box to go as well ?

  57. Reeni says:

    The cookie swap sounds fun! And both your cookies delicious! Especially the cornflake ones – they sound interesting. In a good way!

  58. Christy says:

    Did you just mention marshmallows?:) Wow, that must be one amazing cookie and I am just wondering how did you manage to include marshmallows into the cookies…hehe, now I know!;)

  59. ohhh i want those little hershey’s kisses. so festive!

  60. peachkins says:

    WOW! These are amazing cookies!

  61. Swathi says:

    Delicious cookies, tempting I need to try the peppermint cookies.

  62. Miriam says:

    Those cookies are SO delightful looking. Of course, I was never one to say no to cookies. :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  63. Kerstin says:

    4 swaps!?! How fun 🙂

    It was so great seeing you yesterday – hopefully we’ll be able to get together in a few weeks too 🙂

  64. Dawn says:

    Damn. You go you cookie baking machine.

  65. Would your sweet potato cookies work with white chips?

  66. joanna says:

    wow, a cookie exchange, what a fabulous idea! I’ll have to put some time aside to look at all those mouth-watering cookie recipes!

  67. You are a cookie machine. The chocolate almond cookies win hands down. Those would’ve been gone in minutes!

  68. Wow – you are a cookie making dynamo! It all looks so wonderful.

  69. Claudie says:

    So many great looking cookies… as I said on twitter, you a cookie baking superhero 🙂

  70. Ben says:

    Extreme cookie baking? Where do I sign up?

  71. Anne says:

    Epic. And I love the chocolate-almond combination! Sign me up for pretty much anything with amaretto.

  72. Hannah says:

    You had me at “chocolate”, but totally sealed the deal with marshmallows and peppermint. All of my favorite things in one cookie- I’m dying over here! (In a good way, of course)

  73. grace says:

    both cookies look great, but i’m partial to big, flat, marshmallow-laden ones, especially if peppermint is also involved. 🙂

  74. eight dozen cookies!!! Crazy. Feel free to accidentally drop some in the mail with my address on them. 😉

  75. Deborah says:

    That’s my kind of adrenaline rush!!

  76. You are the one person I trust enough to make a recipe with cornflakes as one of the ingredients. Cheers! – Donna

  77. Carolyn Jung says:

    I adore cornflake cookies. So wholesome sounding, aren’t they? And the cereal adds such a wonderful crisp lightness that’s just irresistible.

  78. Monet says:

    Two cookie recipes? In one post? Two cookie recipes with unique flavors and ingredients? In one post? You are too good, my friend. Thank you for sharing with me tonight. I hope you are having a blessed week and staying calm amidst all the bustle.

  79. Johanna GGG says:

    wow that is a cookie marathon (and that is my sort of marathon) – never heard of those hershey kisses but they sounds interesting – however I think that the italian chocolate almond cookies are the ones to steal my heart – must make and eat!

  80. Chris says:

    The little flecks of red make them look so festive.

    PS: And road biking rocks, you are mistaken:)

  81. I’ll take one of each please 🙂

  82. Mmm I need that Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. 🙂 Both these cookies look so good! I’m really impressed with the ingredients in the chocolate cookies. I didn’t expect them to be so healthy! I think I’ve gone through maybe 5 pounds of butter hahaha. Last time I was at Costco I bought 4 more just in case.

  83. dyosa says:

    Oh wow wow wow! I love cookies and I’m going to borrow your recipes! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  84. Both cookies would be welcome on any cookie plate–I especially love the ones with the peppermint. I love chewy thin cookies like that.

  85. Happy National Chocolate with Almonds Day!
    Thank you so much for sharing the Italian Chocolate-Almond Cookies…they remind me of my grandma’s Italian cookies. So delicious!

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