Hi. I’m Amber. I’m a coffee-holic.
I freely admit that I’m addicted to coffee. I adore it. And, as my sweet husband will attest to, I NEED IT. He brings me some before I get out of bed. That’s love, you guys.
I drink it black and I like it strong. I remember one evening during my freshman year in college. I went out to dinner with my folks, and ordered a cup of coffee. There was a look of shock on my dad’s face, realizing his little girl was ordering a grown-up beverage. (I remember the same look on my mom’s face the first time we were out at a bar together to hear live music and I ordered vodka– but that’s another post.)
I think my addiction really took hold when I moved into a fabulous apartment right on Main Street in Durango- directly above the Steaming Bean Coffee Company. From early in the morning until late at night, the delicious aroma of fresh roasted coffee wafted up the stairs and into my heart. My roommate would run down for a cup at all hours of the day, always asking if I wanted one, too. Yep. I did. At 10pm at night.
I’ve tried substituting tea, wandering the aisle with all of the colorful boxes of teas in different flavors. Problem: I don’t really care for tea. And there is something pleasantly ritualistic about padding down in my socks to the magic machine (Coffee Maker, I love you) and pouring that first steamy cup of joe in the morning. Hello, old friend. Let’s greet this day together. Ahh, the first too-hot sip that I just can’t wait for, my tongue burning with silent gratitude. I don’t find coffee bitter. I find it heavenly.
I learned years ago that coffee and chocolate are best friends. A hint of coffee flavor brings out the depth and richness of good chocolate. And, like coffee, sometimes you just need chocolate. Am I right? So when I found a recipe for Espresso Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies, I made them immediately. And fell in love.
I’m not sure where I found the recipe; it may have been from the Barefoot Contessa- indulging big flavors like coffee and chocolate into a cookie seems like her style. I make a big batch of them every holiday season to give as gifts, one of three or four standbys I’ve made for years. And today was Cookie Day!
The recipe is simple, but I’m always sure to get good ingredients (especially when I’m baking gifts).
See that organic instant coffee? It’s going to mingle with some vanilla extract and really bring out the chocolate yumminess!
Making cookies from scratch is always fun. I love gathering good quality basic stuff and transforming it into a biteful of joy.
One thing I love about the espresso chocolate cookies is that the recipe calls for more brown sugar than granulated sugar. Right there, you know the flavor is going to be deeper! All good cookie recipes start by blending sugar and butter. Let’s be honest: anything good starts by blending sugar and butter.
I’ve noticed that the organic sugar I use has a larger grain than standard granulated sugar, so it doesn’t get as fluffy when whipped with butter. But when the egg yolks go in, all is right with the universe.
Along with the yolks, the instant coffee/vanilla mixture is added. Then, bit by bit, the dry ingredients are incorporated (flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda). The dough will be thick. My little hand mixer was whirring slower and slower, like a cassette player whose batteries were running out. (Don’t act like you’re too young to know what I’m talking about.)
Yes, I drank coffee while making coffee cookies. What?
The last ingredient is the chocolate chips. I always splurge on Ghiradelli chocolate- one stolen chip in your mouth and you know why! The recipe calls for a cup. I feel totally comfortable increasing that amount, and you should, too. You’ll have to stir these in by hand- make sure every bit of dough is chock-full of chips!
All of the cookies I make at Christmas are convenient for a busy life: you can make the dough ahead of time and pop it in the freezer until you want to bake it. With these cookies, I make dough tubes just like Pillsbury. I become the World’s Best Hostess at a dinner party, slicing and baking and presenting homemade amazingness to guests at the end of a meal. Or maybe I’ll treat myself, on a night alone with wine and a chick flick. WHATEVER. This is the time to do that step- simply mimic the size of the tubes of dough in the refrigerated section at the supermarket and wrap your tube in Saran Wrap. Then pop it into a Ziplock bag and freeze it. Bake slices at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so. Fabulous!
For my gift-giving purposes, I made smaller, bite-sized cookies. I made sure each scoop of dough had plenty of chocolate chips in it. I may or may not have snuck taste-tests of the dough as I went along (decadent).
I ended up with many, many mini-cookies, each about 1 ½ inches across and gooey and delicious. The coffee flavor is apparent, but works so well will the chocolate. One bite and your mouth begs for a glass of milk. Or a glass of red wine. Either would be ideal!
You could add dried cranberries to the mix. Some white chocolate chips would also be tasty. But I’m a big fan of the chocolate-on-chocolate thing going on here. I think our friends and neighbors will be excited to receive a box of the Espresso Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies- along with the Lemon Glazed Cookies I also made today. I’ll share THOSE little nuggets of yum with you tomorrow!
I know it’s late. But I’m craving a chocolatey coffee cookie. I realize I may have a problem. That’s the first step, isn’t it…?
What are some of your favorite bake-and-give gifts?
Espresso Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, plus one egg yolk
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
In a small bowl, stir together instant coffee, vanilla, and a tablespoon of water.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and yolk, mix until incorporated. Add coffee mixture and mix thoroughly. A little at a time, add the flour mixture until fully combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set and the top cracks a tiny bit, about 9-10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a rack. Eat one while it’s still warm. YUM.