Fudge Brownie Cranberry Cookies and More Sweet Goldfinches

IMG_5635I hope I am not boring you with more pictures of goldfinches, but sometimes they are so cute I can’t help myself. How could I not post a picture of this little finch singing? So I will sneak some in today, and will post the overflow goldfinch pictures on the new slideshow feature at right.

Meanwhile, on a coolish day yesterday, I baked some really good fudge brownie cookies, again with a Jiffy Mix. I used a recipe for Fudge Brownie Drop Cookies that I had found in the Jiffy Mix cookbook, and then added a handful of dried cranberries. The thing about these cookies is that they are super easy to make, but they don’t taste like they come from a mix. In under half an hour, you can make a batch, without breaking a sweat. So they couldn’t be easier.

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The flower is bouncing bet–Saponaria officinalis. It has a lovely sweet scent.

Fudge Brownie Cranberry Cookies

The scoop is completely filled and flattened off with a knife.
The scoop is completely filled and flattened off with a knife.

1 package Jiffy Fudge Brownie Mix
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 a cup of chocolate chips
a handful (about 1/3 cup) of dried cranberries.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together the Fudge Brownie Mix and the cocoa. Add the softened butter and stir until distributed throughout the mix. Add the egg and mix. Then add the chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Mix well.

Shows the spacing on the cookie sheet.
Shows the spacing on the cookie sheet.

Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, measure out the dough onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. There will be a little bit extra–I distributed dabs of the extra batter onto each cookie. Bake for about 15 to 16 minutes. They are done when the center 1/2 inch area is still moist and seems uncooked. At that point, snatch them from the oven. If you wait until cooked through to the center, they will be hard when they cool off. Makes six large cookies.

Baking notes: I have made this recipe previously with dried cherries. The cherries are delicious but cost considerably more than the cranberries, and I’m not sure the cherry flavor is pronounced enough to be worth it. The cranberries have a nice, tart, fruity taste and work well.

Also, as I ate a cookie, I felt a twinge of guilt. These are big cookies, perhaps most suitable for an athlete training for a triathlon. Then I had a brainstorm, and I used a sharp knife to cut each cookie like a pie, into six small wedges. Voila! Little chocolate scone cookies, just enough for a bite. This will give you 36 small, but intense, cookies from one Jiffy Mix! Very hard to make a better, more inexpensive chocolate cookie.
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IMG_5619Now I will sneak in some more cute goldfinch pictures. They are flocking to our feeders.

IMG_5618This season we have already gone through fifty pounds of black sunflower seeds, as well as the thistle seed seen here.

IMG_5621So we are on our second bag, and they are buzzsawing through it.

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It makes me wonder if they know something about the coming winter that we don’t!

IMG_5653Also, I was able to take some pictures of a little woodpecker who stopped by. Does not look like an easy way to make a living!

Namaste. Fran

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