Cookie Recipe Makeover: Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

GETTING INTO THE SPIRIT OF both Christmas and New Year’s (and least where resolutions are concerned) me and my team of mini-bakers set out to makeover a cookie recipe from the master, Martha Stewart. As you may or may not know, I used to work at MSLO. Not as a cookie expert, but rather a VP for the online editorial group. Because I have loved and admired Martha for years, it was a dream come true. Because she is indeed a perfectionist, it was also like one of those dreams where you show up to class without ever once cracking the book. Somewhere in between, that’s how I’d describe my time there: surreal (There she is!), exciting (Yes, I’d love to come to your house for dinner!) and sometimes a little scary (Er, sorry the online cupcake contest isn’t working…). But since we moved to Italy three years ago, my focus has shifted and two babies later, here we are. With cookies.

The original recipe, Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps, calls for one item that’s a glaring no-no for most moms, even in Italy: espresso. That was first to go. We also omitted a bit of sugar, took out the milk and added beets plus wheat germ. As always, we used whole wheat flour instead of white. Otherwise, they’re the same. Which is to say, they’re not the same at all. But according to 2-year old Phoebe and 3-year old Annika, who is visiting for Christmas, these cookies are still very tasty! You might even say tea party worthy and I’d say, that’s a good thing.


For best results, allow all ingredients to come to room temperature before baking.

If you don’t have pureed beets, carrots would work. (Even baby food.)


  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup beets, roasted and pureed
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting


Using a double boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate and allow to cool. Using a standing mixer or large bowl with handheld mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat thoroughly. Add the beets and cooled chocolate. Beat one more time.

Measure dry ingredients into a sifter and incorporate into the chocolate mixture in three stages, mixing gently in between. Do not over-mix; stop just as the ingredients have come together.

The dough will be sticky but roll it into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes – 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 350. After the dough has firmed up, use a cookie scoop to portion out 1-inch size balls. Fill a shallow bowl with confectioner’s sugar and roll each ball until coated, twice. Place on a cookie sheet with approximately 1 inch in between. Bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will be soft and spongy; allow to cool on a wire rack.


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