Merry Christmas everybody! After you open the presents, why not do a little baking for your holiday lunch or dinner. This cookie recipe will be a hit, and it also will give you an easy way to get rid of extra candy canes around the house.

With the chunks of chocolate and the candy canes on top, it will give your cookies a bit of a crunch.

This is a pretty healthy recipe that does not include any dairy or eggs, but no ifs, ands or buts, these cookies have a few calories. Bottom line is, just like everything else, it’s all about moderation. Enjoy these cookies, your Christmas and, of course, that vegan thing.

CHOCOLATE MINT MELTIES

1 bar (3 ounce) mint dark chocolate

11/8 cups spelt flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup unrefined sugar

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon mint extract

¼ cup organic neutral-flavored oil

Candy canes (crushed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Break off 9 squares from the chocolate bar and place in a mini-food processor until finely chopped. Save the remaining squares of the bar for topping of cookies.

Transfer to a bowl and combine with dry ingredients, sifting in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine syrup, agave nectar, vanilla, mint extract and oil. Stir until well mixed. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until well combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet, spacing evenly. Break up or roughly chop reserved chocolate and place on top of each cookie, pressing in a little. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top as well.

Bake for 11 minutes and then remove from oven. Let cool for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Jeff Peterson anchors from 5 to 7 a.m. on CBS 13 and from 7 to 8 a.m. on FOX 23 and is a vegan.