Let me ask a question…who doesn’t like cookie dough? Everyone’s hand up? If yours isn’t, first of all, what is wrong with you!!???!!!??, and second of all, you might not like today’s recipe. Or, maybe I’ll convert you to liking cookie dough! But don’t worry, readers, I’m not suggesting you eat cookie dough with raw eggs (but, um, *insert my hugely guilty face*, I do admit to doing that everytime I bake cookies once in a while). So, you ask, what do you use instead? Greek yogurt! Yep, you heard me right…Greek yogurt. Let me say though that if someone had made this dough and given it to me, I would have had no idea it contained anything out of the ordinary, let alone Greek yogurt! Let’s start looking through the photos…these aren’t even showing the finished product yet!
Is your mouth watering yet? Now, dipped in chocolate.
Looking good? Well, while I was making the chocolate, I got an idea…what would it be like to drizzle caramel over each dough ball?! I couldn’t resist trying! Observe:
In the end, I didn’t drizzle all of the dough balls with caramel, just so I would be able to taste the variety.
Time for the details!
The process: These are really as simple as making an easy chocolate chip cookie…then you make your dough balls, and freeze. Next, you melt your chocolate, which is again, simple as can be. Dipping your dough balls might just be the most challenging part…and trust me, I think you can handle it. Once again, you freeze ’em. If you add the caramel drizzle, it will add on a little more time and something a bit more challenging, but once again, it’s nothing too hard. In the end, these are pretty easy to make…they just have some hands off time for freezing that makes them take a little bit of time from start to finish.
Notes on ingredients used: The recipe called for brown sugar, and I used light brown, as that’s what I had handy. It worked nicely. The Greek yogurt I used was Chobani Plain, Non-fat Greek Yogurt. As I said before, I was beyond pleased. You can also use applesauce or peanut butter…I’m thinking peanut butter might give an interesting flavor that would be worth trying. I didn’t have enough regular chocolate chips, so I used some mini too. The mix of the large and small chips is kind of nice, but I don’t think either one is better than the other…use what you have and it should work out! The recipe calls for walnuts as an optional ingredient and knowing Rob, Rachel, and Madison would not be pleased with nuts in their cookies, I left those out. I think this is personal taste. Because I decided to make the caramel drizzle on a whim, I didn’t have any heavy cream on hand…I looked up a quick substitute online (3/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup melted butter equals 1 cup heavy cream…I only had skim milk, so I added about a tablespoon of flour to thicken it up a bit). I think in the future, the real thing would be best, but this worked out okay.
The verdict: Rachel loved them. She said she liked them both, but the caramel drizzled one was slightly better because it added “a little kick.” She’d be glad if I made either kind again though. Rob and Madison both said, “Oh my gosh!” Then they both didn’t say another word. Trust me though and take my word that it was a good “oh my gosh.” Really, trust me. And what about me? I loved ’em too. I liked them not long after I finished the caramel drizzle and had frozen them for about 20 minutes, but after trying them again a few hours later (than the last time I tried them)…even better. If that was possible and all. Yep. They’re that good. As to which I like better, the caramel or the plain chocolate? It’s a toughie, because neither are bad, but I’ll have to go with the caramel, for similar reasons to Rachel. UPDATE: This morning (Thursday), Madison declared these were her new favorite dessert. It may seem like a silly claim, but trust me, it takes a lot for her to say that. I’m not sure I wholeheartedly agree, but still, it goes to show you they really are that good!
I think these are easily something you could tweak to your liking. For example, instead of a semi-sweet chocolate topping, how about a rich, dark chocolate? You could also experiment with topping the dough balls with crushed candy bars after you’ve put on the chocolate topping. One other idea would be to infuse the chocolate topping with a mint extract…that could be worth trying! I also think you could use any cookie recipe you wanted and replace the eggs with the Greek yogurt. Play around and have fun!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
adapted from Joy The Baker
makes around 32 balls
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used light brown)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Greek yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter (I used plain Greek yogurt)
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for flavor)
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (could be mini)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate (for chocolate topping)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment (or with a large bowl and a wooden spoon) cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter along with the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.
Form balls any size you like on a parchment lined cookie sheet (roll to get a nice round shape). If you want, spear each dough ball with a cute plastic fork or a popsicle stick or something of that nature (I did not, but it might be helpful when dipping into the chocolate topping). Place in the freezer overnight or until frozen, around two hours (it will greatly depend on the size of your dough balls).
When ready to dip the balls, melt chocolate in a double boiler over a low flame. Remove balls from the freezer and dip into warm chocolate. *Return to the lined cookie sheet and return to the freezer to harden. **Serve cold from the freezer.
*If you want to top with candy, now would be the time.
**If you want to top with the caramel drizzle, drizzle now and freeze again. You should be able to drizzle it over the dough balls simply by using a spoon…but do whatever works for you!
Caramel Sauce Used as Drizzle (optional)
adapted from simplyrecipes.com
1 cup of sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don’t work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first – make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.
Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.
As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.
Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.
Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes*, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.
Makes a little over one cup of sauce, which will be beyond plenty for your dough balls. I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out something else to do with the rest of it…perhaps over ice cream? Or maybe a chocolate cake? But hey, if you want to eat it by itself, I won’t judge! 🙂
*At this point, it’s ready for drizzling over the dough balls.
My final advice? GO! Make these! You will not regret it (well, regarding your waistline, you might…but they’re so worth it!!).