Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Oh you read that right. We have Martha Stewart to thank for this one. 

I forget how many years ago, but I stumbled upon an issue of Martha Stewart's magazine one Christmas season but this time, it was a special issue all about cookies. At the time I wasn't the big cookie baker I am now but I think I have this magazine to thank (and Real Simple, but that's another post). I read that issue like it was the bible of cookie making. Martha supplied idea after idea that were delicious and practical to a amateur high school baker at the time (I'm still an amateur lbr, but thankfully not still in high school).

The one that stuck out the most was her recipe for Chocolate Espresso Cookies. I mean, what more could anyone what? Chocolate? Yes. Espresso? Double yes. Put together???? To quote a meme from beyond, what is air??? (cringe).
 I don't recall how the first batches went but I do remember two of my mom's friends one year paying me to make these for their families at Christmas. They've continued to be a hit every Christmas amongst my mom's friends, my coworkers, and myself (at all times of the day or night). They're light, chewy, and have the perfect balance of chocolate and bite of espresso in the perfect cookie. 

My recipe for you today though has been tweaked from Martha's original (but I'm sure you can find the original on her website). Instead of the baking chocolate melted and chopped into the batter, I melt baking chocolate first and then add chocolate chips in at the end. It might sound like a lot but the espresso powder really levels everything out. 

Another adjustment made by me is how I measure them out. When I first read this recipe, I couldn't fathom how Martha could drop the cookie batter by "2 heaping tablespoons" onto a tray. I don't know how small her tablespoons are because if I did that, I would have, like, six cookies. I threw that notion out the window and reduced it to one hearty tablespoon of cookie batter on the tray. Your cookies will come out to a proper borderline large cookie once it's done baking. 

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I have for many years. Shoutout to Martha Stewart for having my back too...even though her tablespoons must be tiny. Poor thing. 

Chocolate Espresso Cookies (with my adjustments)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I use Baker's)
1 Tablespoon (give or take) of heavy cream
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder (I just use Hershey's)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
Chocolate chips (I usually add in 3/4 of the bag)

Preheat oven to 350

Melt 6 ounces of chocolate in a microwavable bowl with the heavy cream. I usually do it for about 30 seconds, stir, then go for another 10 until the chocolate has completely melted. Sometimes you can microwave it for 30 seconds and then just stir until the chocolate melts, it's just more stirring on your part.

In another bowl, whisk to combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes in another bowl. I usually do it until all the sugar and butter is combined and looks soft. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla.

Stir in espresso powder to melted chocolate. It should be cool enough by now to beat it into the butter mixture. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips at very end.

Scoop the dough out by tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I can usually fit 6 cookies per sheet with mine. They will spread and grow a bit in the oven. Bake and rotate sheets halfway through until edges are dry, about 14 to 16 minutes. I know they're ready when they're textured and the edges are defined and round like a cookie should be. Let them cool on a wire rack then enjoy! They should be a bit chewy,  airy, and rich.

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