Espresso chocolate chip cookies

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:

IMG_0633Alison made some kickass sandwich cookies. You will want to make these!

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.

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Those are some pretty tasty cookies.

Ingredients

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)

Instructions:

  1. Using a fork, stir the dry ingredients (first five) together until well-combined.
  2. Add chocolate chips and stir to coat
  3. 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
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and blend at medium speed until well-combined
  5. Using a wooden spoon to mix the batter, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter
  6. 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)
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

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Cupcakes and cookies and sorbet, oh my!

It’s been a while, folks. Our New Year’s resolution to write one blog post a week has not been met, to say the least. Now that it’s summer and we are in one place (more or less), however, we plan to move things along more quickly. In that spirit, we have several recipes to offer you in the next couple of weeks. And we are still working on out our recipes for the NCAA tournament winner (yes, we are super, super late on that). So more is coming. We promise.

In the meantime, please enjoy a picture of chocolate macadamia-peanut butter chip cookies. They are straight from The Good Cookie, so I won’t post the recipe here, but they are delicious. I highly recommend the combination of chocolate chunks, Reese’s peanut butter chips, and macadamia nuts (although in the future I might pair those with a chewier cookie base).

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(Note my awesome wonder woman mug).

Ethically delicious

Jess and I don’t like to post recipes here unless we’ve made some significant changes to it, or the recipe is already readily available on the internet. We have already long professed our love for Tish Boyle’s book, The Good Cookie, but we feel that since her recipes from the book are not published on the internet, we don’t feel like it’s fair to put it out there– it’s not ours.

That being said, we totally encourage you to go out and buy her book. It’s seriously one of the best cookie recipe books we’ve ever encountered. We can’t say we’ve ever disliked any of the recipes in her book, and our copy has begun to detach from the spine because it’s so well-loved.

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One of our favorites are the banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I have deceived myself into believing that they are a somewhat healthy breakfast (I ate 4 of them this morning!), since they contain bananas, oats, and pecans (and butter and brown sugar and chocolate), but I digress.

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See? Healthy!

These little pieces of heaven are so delicious, and because of the banana, they stay moist and lovely for days. They keep really well.

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A friend has informed me that the dough is great raw. I’ll take her word for it; I’m not a raw dough eater.

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I like them warm, straight off the cookie sheet.

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Or the next morning, with a cup of coffee. Or the following evening, before dinner. Or as a dessert. Or, clearly, all of the above.