Kid-friendly Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies

Recipe: Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies

Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies

by Jacy Shoener
Photo by P-fotography/
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
12 minutes
4-12 servings

Fun Food Story

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Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies

These rich and fudgy Marvelous Midnight Cocoa Cookies are sure to delight. These delicious cookies are truly a nutritional powerhouse. The avocado "hidden" within is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, vitamin E, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6. Coconut oil is high in antioxidants; it fights inflammation and helps provide energy. Even the cocoa is good for you! Cocoa helps your heart, blood, and brain.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • mash :

    to reduce food, like potatoes or bananas, to a soft, pulpy state by beating or pressure.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • slice :

    to cut into thin pieces using a sawing motion with your knife.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Cookie sheet(s)
  • Cooling rack
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Small bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Masher or fork
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Heat-resistant spatula


Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies

  • 1/2 + 1/3 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour blend)**
  • 1/3 C cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 avocado for 1/3 C mashed
  • 1/4 C coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 tsp maple or agave syrup/honey/sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob chips; for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free flour blend. Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor. 
  • Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder.
  • Dairy/Nut/Soy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.


Midnight Marvel Cocoa Cookies


Preheat the oven to 375 F.

measure + whisk

Measure and whisk the following together in a small mixing bowl (the dry bowl): 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

slice + mash + measure + stir

Slice 1 avocado in half and remove the stone. Scoop out avocado flesh into a small bowl and mash. Measure out 1/3 cup mashed avocado into a large mixing bowl (the wet bowl). Stir in the following: 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

combine + add + mix

Combine the contents of the dry bowl into the wet bowl. Then, measure and add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the bowl and mix well.

divide + roll + bake + cool

Divide the cookie dough into rounded tablespoons and roll each into a ball shape. Place the balls approximately 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. The centers will still be gooey. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least five minutes, then move them to a cooling rack with a heat-resistant spatula to cool further. Cool completely before serving with Yogurt Delightful Drizzle.

Surprise Ingredient: Chocolate + Cocoa!

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Photo by New Africa/

Hi! I'm Chocolate!

"Hello! Let me introduce myself! I can be dark brown, light brown, or even white. I'm sometimes bitter, sometimes a little sweet, and often very sweet. I add flavor and excitement to many other foods! Have you guessed yet? I'm Chocolate! You may be familiar with me from candy bars or chocolate sundaes, but I can liven up many other foods, too, including chili, butter, and milk!"


  • The cacao (kahKOW) tree is native to equatorial South America and the rainforests of Mesoamerica. It was first used 5,300 years ago by indigenous people in South America. Mesoamericans who lived in the rainforests of Mexico and Central America domesticated the tree about 1,500 years later. They drank chocolate as a bitter beverage—far from the sweet treat most of us are familiar with today. 
  • The Mayan people of Central and South America used cocoa as currency and as medicine: it was very valuable, just like vanilla! In fact, it was so precious that they made counterfeit cocoa beans out of clay and avocado seeds!
  • The Aztec people are a nomadic tribe in Northern Mexico. When the Aztec empire began to expand, they demanded that the Mayan people pay tribute to them through gifts of cacao. 
  • The Aztec people ruled until Spaniards arrived and conquered the land and its people. The Spanish explorers took cacao beans back to Europe, where they experimented by adding cinnamon and sugar to sweeten it. For a long time, only aristocratic people enjoyed chocolate.
  • Princess Maria Theresa married Louis the 16th from France and gave him chocolate as a wedding present! Demand for chocolate soon grew very fast, and as a result, people were enslaved on plantations to grow cacao to meet the high demand.
  • In 1847, Joseph Fry invented the first chocolate bar. By 1907, Hershey was manufacturing millions of chocolate kisses each day.  
  • Cacao trees grow best in the rainforest underneath the branches of taller trees. However, they won't bear fruit until they are at least three to five years old. 
  • Most early Spanish sources refer to chocolate as "cacahuatl" (cah-cah-Hwat), which translates to "cacao water."
  • The word chocolate comes from a combination of a Mayan word for hot, "chocol," and an Aztec word for water, "atl."

How Chocolate is Made

  • All chocolate comes from the beans of the cacao tree. Cacao trees produce pods containing pulp-covered seeds. Before cacao is processed, it would be hard for most of us to recognize it as chocolate! This is because the pulp-covered seeds taste bitter and raw and look nothing like the chocolate products we see in stores.
  • The seeds go through a process called fermentation, and then they are dried and made into nibs before being turned into chocolate. 
  • A cacao pod contains about 30 to 50 almond-sized seeds—enough to make about seven milk chocolate candy bars! 
  • After roasting and grinding cocoa beans, chocolate liquor is left, which is about equal parts cocoa solids and cocoa butter. After the cocoa butter is mostly extracted, the result is dry cocoa solids. Cocoa powder is the powdered form. Natural cocoa is a light brown color and tastes bitter. 

  • Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten created the "Dutch process" method in the early 19th century to reduce the acidity in natural cocoa powder by treating the beans with alkaline salts. As a result, Dutch process cocoa is less bitter and has a dark brown color.

How to Enjoy Cocoa & Chocolate

  • You can add unsweetened cocoa to milk with sugar, honey, or stevia for a delicious and warming beverage. You can also add it to smoothies for a delicious chocolaty taste and an extra hit of magnesium and polyphenols. 
  • Chocolate comes in many forms: bars, kisses, chips, powder, shavings, puddings, syrups, and sauces.
  • Unconventional chocolate flavor pairings: cardamom, lavender, wasabi, chili, chipotle, sea salt, lime, matcha, curry, ginger, mint, figs, fennel, sesame, parmesan, and Earl Grey tea. Seriously, what doesn't go well with chocolate?! Can you think of any other fun and delicious pairings?


  • Dark chocolate helps protect your heart, blood, and brain! To get the full health benefits of chocolate, choose at least 85% cocoa content or higher. The higher percentage makes the chocolate more bitter, but those bitter compounds, called polyphenols, are antioxidants that provide several health benefits. Many people prefer very dark chocolate!
  • Polyphenols help prevent heart disease by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, keeping vessels flexible and allowing the blood in our body to flow easier (good circulation), and reducing inflammation. In addition, they help control blood sugar levels, lower cancer risk, and boost immunity. Polyphenols also promote good digestion.  
  • Cocoa is a great source of magnesium. We need magnesium for good health! For strong bones, healthy teeth, and as a building block for proteins within the body.
  • Cocoa can protect our teeth?! Cacao contains antibacterial elements that fight tooth decay. However, this is true with unsweetened cocoa only, as most mass-produced chocolate has a lot of sugar. We know what sugar does to our teeth—it causes decay! 
  • One study has shown that the smell of chocolate may actually relax you by increasing theta waves in the brain!

History of Cookies!

Photo by Dream79/
  • The earliest cookies were baked as far back as the 7th century in Persia (now Iran) when sugar became common.
  • One of the earliest printed recipes for a cookie can be found in the 1596 cookbook Goode Huswife's Jewel by Thomas Dawson. This recipe was for a square short cookie enriched with egg yolks and spices, baked on parchment paper.
  • The first recording of gingerbread made in the shape of people was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England in the 16th century. The gingerbread figures served at court represented the queen's important guests. 
  • By definition, a cookie can be any kind of hand-held, flour-based sweet cake with a crispy, chewy, or soft texture. It is usually described as a small, thin, and flat cake. 
  • Cookies are usually made with flour, sugar, egg, and fat, like oil or butter. Additional ingredients are often added, including chocolate chips, cinnamon, cocoa, coconut, coffee, nuts, peanut butter, raisins, and vanilla.
  • Each country has its own word for cookie. In America, of course, we call them "cookies." The English word is derived from the Dutch word "koekje," meaning "little cake," and in the Netherlands, cookies are called "koekjes."
  • In England and Australia, cookies are called "biscuits." In Spain, they are "galletas," and in Germany, they are "keks" or "plätzchen." In France, cookies are called "biscuits" or "gâteaux." In Italy, they are "biscotti."

Cookies may be categorized into the following types: 

  • "Bar"—cookie dough is spread into a pan, and after baking, the cookies are cut into rectangles and squares.
  • "Drop"— soft dough is dropped from a spoon onto a baking sheet. 
  • "Filled"—rolled dough is filled with fruit, jam, or candy. 
  • "Molded"—stiff dough is pressed into a shape by hand or in a mold. 
  • "No-bake"—made by binding melted chocolate or peanut butter with cereal, like oats or nuts. 
  • "Rolled"—dough is rolled out, and a cookie cutter is cut into the dough to create specific designs and shapes. 
  • "Sandwich"—two cookie layers with chocolate, cream, curd, or jam filling "sandwiched" in between.

Let's Learn About Iran and the Persian Empire!

Photo by Whatafoto/ (Ancient ruins of Persepolis)
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in the Middle East. It has also been known as Persia. The Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan border Iran on the north; Azerbaijan and Armenia on the northeast; Iraq and Turkey on its western border; the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf are to the south; and Afghanistan and Pakistan border Iran to the east.
  • Iran is the second largest country in the Middle East. Its total area is 636,372 square miles. That is about the size of Alaska and Washington State combined. The population is over 87.5 million. Tehran is the capital and largest city.
  • Iran's government is a unitary authoritarian theocratic presidential Islamic republic. It has a Supreme Leader, who has ultimate authority, a president, a vice president, and a chief justice, and the legislative body is the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Shia Islam is the official religion. The currency is the Iranian rial. 
  • Iranians primarily speak Persian, also known as Farsi, the official language used in education and government. The other recognized language of religion is Arabic. The three most widely spoken languages are Persian, Azerbaijani or Azeri, and Kurdish. 
  • Most of Iran is on the Iranian Plateau. The exceptions are the Caspian Sea coastline and the province of Khuzestan. Although it is called a plateau, its terrain is not flat. It contains several mountain ranges, and its highest peak is 24,580 feet. Mount Damavand, a dormant stratovolcano and Iran's tallest mountain is 18,402 feet high.
  • The northern part of the country, near the Caspian Sea, has lush lowlands and mountain forests. The eastern part is desert with a few salt lakes, including Iran's largest desert, Dasht-e Kavir, also known as the Great Salt Desert. 
  • Iran's climate varies from arid to semi-arid to subtropical to alpine. Summer temps can reach over 100 degrees F. In winter, temperatures are severely cold in the Zagros mountains in the western part of the country, and snowfall can be heavy. 
  • Wildlife native to Iran includes the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah (or Persian cheetah), the Persian leopard (the largest leopard subspecies), and the Asian black bear. 
  • Ancient Persia was an area in southwestern Asia that included the region of modern Iran. It was one of the oldest civilizations.
  • The Persian or Achaemenid Empire lasted around 200 years and was considered the most powerful civilization in history. It was founded by Cyrus the Great around 550 BCE after the Persians revolted against the Median Empire. It comprised modern-day Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
  • For its time, the Persian Empire created a well-organized government with road systems, a postal system, official languages, civil services, and a professional army.
  • The five capital cities of the Persian Empire were Persepolis, Susa, Babylon, Pasargadae, and Ecbatana.
  • Archaeological sites in Persepolis and Pasargadae can be visited today, displaying the art and architectural ruins of the empire. 
  • The various languages spoken were Aramaic, Elamite, Greek, and Old Persian.
  • Alexander the Great, a king of ancient Greek Macedon or Macedonia, conquered the Persian Empire around 330 BCE.
  • A goblet from the third millennium BCE discovered at an archaeological site is said to be the first attempt at animation. Its design displays sequential images of a goat jumping up in different stages to eat tree leaves. The bas-reliefs at Persepolis from 500 BCE are a popular tourist attraction.
  • Though Persia continued to expand and conquer neighboring countries, it tolerated the customs and religions of those countries. It allowed them to live as they always had, as long as they paid their taxes and obeyed their new rulers. Because of this cultural tolerance, the people of these countries generally accepted their Persian conquerors.
  • Creativity flourished as Persian civilization reached its peak. Palaces were filled with elaborate and beautiful mosaics, rugs, and artwork by artisans (craftspeople). 
  • Persians built the first windmills and utilized wind energy long before the rest of the world discovered it!
  • Herodotus, a historian who lived in a Greek city in the Persian Empire, wrote about the great birthday feasts celebrated by Persians that included several desserts. 
  • Persian culinary regions are deeply interconnected. Although Persian people speak many different languages and follow various religions, they share a common history that dates back to the time of Persian Empire rulers Cyrus and Darius. Persian culinary traditions have influenced cuisine worldwide, including the food of India, Morocco, and Northern Europe. 
  • Three types of food are almost always served in a traditional Persian meal: grilled meat, rice, and stew.
  • Rice is often seasoned with saffron or is "jeweled," which means many foods are added so that the rice looks like it is stuffed with diamonds and colorful jewels.
  • "Khoresh," or Persian stew, is often made with dried lemons, fenugreek, and herbs like parsley and mint. Soups and stews are typically served as the main course and are accompanied by cheese, bread, and a heaping plate of fresh herbs.
  • Shirazi salad, consisting of cucumber, tomato, onion, and mint, dressed with lemon or lime juice or verjuice (a sour juice), is often served with meat or rice dishes or stews.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Iran?

  • Family life is extremely important in Iran, and families spend much time together. Children feel supported by their families. Religion and traditions are highly valued.
  • Most Iranian kids live with their father, mother, and siblings. They are expected to respect their elders and to be good students. 
  • Generally, boys and girls go to separate schools, and there are strict dress code policies.
  • Kids may play football (soccer), volleyball, basketball, handball or participate in wrestling or athletics (track and field). They like to play "Tileh bazi" or marbles.
  • Families enjoy picnicking and playing at parks, especially in spring and summer. There are palaces, ancient ruins, and other historical places to visit in Iran. To see fish, sharks, snakes, and amphibians, families can go to the Isfahan Aquarium in Isfahan province.    
  • In Tehran province, kids may enjoy going to the Eram Amusement Park, a theme park with a zoological garden and a 20-acre lake, where you can water ski, canoe, or kayak. Tehran Jurassic and Spider Park is an amusement park with life-sized, moving models of dinosaurs and giant models of insects. Education and fun are combined at the Human Park, a museum that teaches families about the human body. Kids can even stand inside a huge model of a human mouth!
  • Kids in Iran may eat "koufteh ghelgheli" or "tiny meatballs," served with rice. They can be made of ground beef, lamb, or turkey and cooked with sliced onions, carrots, and potatoes. 
  • For sweet snacks, they may have "koloocheh" or Persian New Year Bread (a stamped cookie or bread), "nan-e berenji" (rice cookies with poppy seeds), or "gaz" (a nougat candy made from sugar, pistachio or almond kernels, rose water, and egg whites).

The Yolk's On You

What did the tortilla say to the avocado when the dip bowl was empty? 

“We’ve hit guac bottom!”

That's Berry Funny

What did one chip say to the avocado dip? 

"Well, this is guacward … dip, scoop, munch!"

The Yolk's On You

What is Avocado's favorite kind of music? 

Grock 'N' Mol. (guacamole)

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call people who like to drink hot chocolate all year long? 


Lettuce Joke Around

What did the avocado say to the fork? 

"You guac my world."

The Yolk's On You

"Knock, knock!" 

"Who’s there?" 


"Imogen who?" 

"I can’t imogen life without chocolate!"

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate? 

A Candy Baa!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call stolen cocoa? 

Hot chocolate!

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