These cookies are truly, madly chockablock with chocolate.
And that’s never a bad thing, is it?
“Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies” is from the new cookbook, “100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen, with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars, and More” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.
This sweet collection is by Sarah Kieffer, celebrated creator of the award-winning, The Vanilla Bean Blog.
Among the 100 tantalizing recipes are “Chocolate Basil Brownies,” “Raspberry Rye Cookies,” and “Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze.” There’s even an entire chapter on “Pan Banging Cookies,” using the technique she perfected that went viral. It involves banging the tray of cookies periodically as they bake in the oven, flattening them and creating concentric ripples that leave them crisp on the edges with soft centers.
“Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies” don’t require that kind of work. They also don’t need an electric mixer to make.
The recipe incorporates butter two ways — first browned in a pan on the stove until deeply golden and nutty smelling, before it’s poured into a bowl with a tad more butter that’s cut into four small pieces. My guess is that this cools down the brown butter faster so it doesn’t continue to cook and brown too much.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients, including cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, and cocoa nibs. There’s also a little ground espresso mixed in to heighten the chocolate taste.
Kieffer provides different baking times to choose from to get just the type of cookie you want. I went with the instructions for baking for 9 minutes for cookies with a crisp edge, and tender centers.
These cookies are rich, decadent, and almost brownie-like. Just try to say “no” to that. I dare you.
Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies
(Makes about 20 cookies)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground espresso
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, ground espresso, baking powder, and baking soda.
Slice 4 tablespoons of the butter into four pieces, and place them in a large bowl. Melt the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Brown the butter until it is dark golden brown and giving off a nutty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the browned butter (and any bits of browned butter stick to the bottom of the skillet) into the bowl with the room-temperature butter, and stir until all the butter is melted and combined. Stir in the granulated and brown sugars, vanilla, and salt with a rubber spatula, mixing until combined.
Whisk in the egg and the yolk until fully combined and the batter is smooth and glossy, about 45 seconds. Let the batter sit for 2 to 3 minutes, and then whisk again for another 45 seconds. Pour the flour mixture into the bowl and use a rubber spatula to combine (it may take a minute to incorporate all the dry ingredients). Place the chopped chocolate and cacao nibs, if using, over the dough and use your hands to knead it in until it is evenly distributed (you can us the spatula here, too, but I’ve found my hands make for quick work). The dough will be very shiny, slick, and dense, and it will take a minute to incorporate the chocolate.
From the dough into 1 1/2-ounce balls (2 tablespoons). Place 7 cookies on each sheet pan.
Bake the cookies one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. For soft cookies with a gooey center, bake the cookies until the sides are set, and the centers are very puffed, and the dough is still light, 8 to 9 minutes. For cookies with a crispy edge and tender center, bake until the cookies are light golden brown around the edges and the centers are still slightly puffed, 9 minutes. For cookies with a crisp edge and firm center, bake until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and the centers have begun to collapse, 10 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then move the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Note: For a more developed flavor, the dough can be rested for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. Place balls of formed dough on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Bake the next morning as directed, adding a little baking time (about 1 minute) to the chilled cookies. These will be more plump and won’t spread as much.
From “100 Cookies” by Sarah Kieffer
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