I really like these cookies...but unfortunately we had a little snafu with these cookies because it just so happens that I was not the only one that liked them and it could easily have turned out tragically. I photographed them late in the afternoon and the best natural light was on the front of my house so I decided to photograph them in my foyer which was nice and bright. I did something that I normally don't do...I set everything up on the floor...my cooling rack full of cookies, and a small plate with a couple of cookies on it. No big deal so far, right? I snapped a number of photos and stepped into my family room to pop the SD card from my camera into my laptop to see how they turned out before I moved everything back to the kitchen. Hubby let Spike (my Bichon Frise) out in the backyard and while I had my back to the foyer, he let him back into the house. Maybe only 2 minutes later (at most), I turned around to see where Spike was...and found him hovering over the cookies and I screamed and ran to the foyer. That little sucker had scarfed the 2 cookies up that were on the plate and my heart began to race as I counted the cookies that he had moved around on the rack...4 more were missing from the rack. In less than 2 minutes he had inhaled 6 cookies....with CHOCOLATE in them. I about died.
Hubby ran outside with him to try and get him to "toss his cookies" while I called the vet. We calculated that he had ingested approximately 1 ounce of dark chocolate and for his body weight that puts him at "very mild risk" for sickness. It can be deadly or do serious damage to dogs and their organs. It's been a several hours since that happened and the first 4 to 6 hours are most important but it can take up to 24 hours for a reaction. I am keeping my fingers crossed and watching him like a hawk. The ONLY positive thing I can say about this event is THANK GOD I USED SWERVE (TGIUS) to sweeten these cookies (and this is not a plug for Swerve but honest to goodness thankfulness). It is not toxic to dogs like xylitol is which is absolutely deadly to dogs. I have been very careful for over 3 years about not using xylitol as a sweetener because of Spike, but just a week ago, I purchased a package of it at Sprouts to try. Thank God I didn't use it in these cookies because I don't think my little 11-year old boy would have survived ingesting both chocolate AND xylitol. This was his first exposure to chocolate and hopefully his last. He appears to be fine and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he continues to be. Just another reason to remind all of you to be extremely careful about using alternative sweeteners like xylitol (or chocolate) if you have pets. Many people have lost pets to xylitol. I realize that most of you don't place your cookies on the floor to take photos like I do, but accidents happen. I still can't believe he ate 6 cookies in less than 2 minutes.
I snapped a few photos (duh) of the cookies below and included the easy peasy recipe. I got 26 cookies from this recipe. They turned out great and because he's okay, I can "jokingly" add that they are "Spike approved" as well (as my heart sinks). Enjoy!
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Equal Exchange 70% cacao)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sweetener together. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add peanut butter, egg and vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, cream and mix dry and wet ingredients together until the dough is mixed and blended well; dough will be stiff. Fold in chocolate chips.
Using a 1 tablespoon sized retractable scoop, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined or nonstick cookie sheet; lightly roll each scoop of dough into a ball using your hands (if dough is too sticky, refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to stiffen up a bit). Bake for about 12 minutes or until barely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cookies firm up as they cool. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
*Note: Update/tips: Texture of cookies with be more cake-like if baked too long (and the size of the balls you roll will affect bake time). They should be slightly under baked to get a more moist texture in center (to be sure, test bake 1 cookie first and increase or decrease bake time). If desired, sugar free chocolate chips like Lilly's chocolate chips can be used or for dairy free chips, Enjoy Life chocolate chips can be used.