2013 will not be known as our finest year, it seems. At least in terms of follow-through.
Four months ago, we held our second annual baking madness contest. Sarah won both the men’s and women’s brackets, and kindly gifted her second win to Claudia. Our job was to each create a baked good based on their preferences and send it to them to vote on their favorite. About two and a half months after Sarah won, we FINALLY sent her a package of treats. (In our defense: we don’t live together for most of the year, and we were doing a lot of traveling during the spring and summer).
In any case, the results are in for the first batch of baked goods! (Claudia’s round will come later). Alison won this round! She will post her recipe soon, but here’s a preview of our cookies together:
In the meantime, allow me to introduce the humble espresso chocolate chip cookie. It may not have won, but it’s pretty great. And I tweaked it after receiving Sarah’s feedback, so they are even better than the original.
Those are some pretty tasty cookies.
3 tbsp espresso or espresso powder*
1 and 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 and 2/3 cups bread flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt + additional for sprinkling on top of cookies
11.5 oz milk chocolate chips**
2 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup plus 3 tbsp light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla (I recommend bourbon vanilla, if available)
- Using a fork, stir the dry ingredients (first five) together until well-combined.
- Add chocolate chips and stir to coat
- Using a stand or hand mixer, blend butter and sugars at medium speed for 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to incorporate the batter that spreads up the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula
- Add eggs and vanilla and blend at medium speed until well-combined
- Using a wooden spoon to mix the batter, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter
- Separate dough into four disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate over night, or at least 8 hours. (The first batch I made were actually frozen for a few days before baking, and they came out just as nicely, so you can also freeze the batter if you do not plan to bake right away)
- When you are ready, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into 1.5-inch round balls with your hands and place on ungreased baking sheet, about two inches apart. Flatten each ball of dough with your palm and sprinkle some good quality salt on top.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool for about five minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
* I always use real espresso because I find it brings out the flavor better, but most recipes calling for a coffee/espresso taste will recommend the powder.
** I’m wary of too much sweetness, so I rarely use milk chocolate in anything I bake. I wanted to try something new here, though, and I thought the milk chocolate would balance the espresso, which it did. You can use dark or bitter/semi-sweet chocolate if you prefer. If you use milk chocolate, use a good quality chocolate!