Espresso Double-Chocolate Cookies
April 7, 2010 § 1 Comment
It has been eons since my last cookie bake-off. This winter I used my oven for two primary purposes: to test out a new grapefruit sourdough muffin and to roast about 10 too many rutabagas. Suffice it to say, I’m glad to be back in the kitchen whipping sugar into butter.
Trial 1 of my Chocolate Espresso cookie experiment was a flop even though my dad loved them! Now, let me back up a second. Generally speaking, my dad is my recipe barometer. He loves to try new foods and he’ll also tell me if my bowl of quinoa tastes like pebbles. But no one in my family (save my grandpa and perhaps a smattering of cousins) likes or has ever liked coffee, save moi.
Knowing I was solo on the coffee-fan bandwagon, I made these cookies one afternoon when I was home alone; I planned to tote them to a gathering with friends later that night. But, as luck would have it, my dad arrived as I was scraping the cookies off the sheet pan. “Oo!” he said, eyeing the cooling rack. “Uh, just warning,” I said, pointing my spatula at the cookies, “These are espresso cookies. They’ll taste sort of like coffee.” My dad hesitated and then picked up a cookie. Taking a tremulous bite he chewed a moment and then, to my surprise, he grabbed two more: “I love them!” he said, “They don’t taste like anything!”
Back to the drawing board.
Clearly, the flavor in those cookies were lacking – not enough coffee and definitely not enough chocolate. I also found the texture to be a bit off; they were gooey in the middle when they were warm, but resembled fossilized pancakes after they cooled. So, I started tweaking. I doubled the cocoa powder; I added more chocolate-covered espresso beans. I let the dough rest longer in the fridge. I added brown sugar and whole wheat flour for good “chew,” but balanced both with their respective counterparts – a bit of white flour to add a little airiness, plus a bit of evaporated cane sugar (you can use white sugar if that’s what you have handy). Several batches and 2 pounds of chocolate-flavored espresso beans later, I found a winner. Each bite is speckled with crunch (both from coffee bean and chocolate) and the surrounding cookie dough has flavor. And an added bonus: I can eat three cookies without any caffeine-induced jittery aftershocks.
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1-2 tablespoons espresso powder (*err on the lighter side if you want a stronger chocolate flavor)
1/2 cup cocoa powder, high quality
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons almond milk (or milk alternative)
1 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Cream butter and sugars for several minutes, whipping air into the mixture so that it turns creamy-colored and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and almond milk. Beat an additional minute or two.
2. Combine flours, baking soda and powder, cocoa and sea salt in a separate bowl and mix with a fork until combined. Slowly fold flour mix into the wet dough and, if using an electric mixer, stop just before the dough is fully incorporated. Stir the remaining few times with a spoon and hand-mix chocolate-espresso beans and chips into the dough.
3. Chill dough a minimum of 6 hours, preferably over night. This is key – allowing the dough to rest will yield a lasting, chewy texture. After chilling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a greased baking sheet, scoop dough into balls. For large cookies (approximately the size of a large lime) bake 11-13 minutes. For smaller cookies (approximately 3/4 the size of a golf ball) bake 8-10 minutes. The edges won’t appear brown and the center will appear gooey and underdone – don’t fear. Let them sit (and continue baking) on the warm sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tagged: brown sugar, chocolate chips, chocolate-covered espresso beans, cocoa, Cookie, egg, espresso chocolate cookies, espresso powder, evaporated cane sugar, unsalted butter, white flour, whole wheat flour