Weeknight Cooking

Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies

April 16, 2012

Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies

There are many things I think about when walking sullenly through my local Soviet-era grocery store, and not all of them involve pondering the 1980’s music that seems to be the perpetual soundtrack in all American supermarkets. 

Shop the Story

Is Phil Collins supposed to inspire me to buy some stabilized salad dressing and Paul Newman popcorn? Or am I just supposed to start thinking hard about all those years I wasted smoking Virginia Slims on various porches throughout southwestern Michigan and working as a waitress at the Cheek to Cheek/Silver Bullet Saloon (it’s For Sale, FYI) instead of wearing unattractive below-the-knee skirts and searching for sensible internships? (FYI # 2: If you Google “Cheek to Cheek”, the search engine will serve up an ad for vibrators for women. Just sayin’.)

Just as often while shopping, as I wander, I wonder: If I buy my children their requested Cinnamon Toast Crunch, will that turn them off oatmeal and homemade pancakes? Or will it guarantee that they like me for, like, ever? Or maybe I should be like that mom at work who only allows desserts with bran? 

Well, I could try, but then my kids would end up like flourchild, whose macrobiotic parents didn’t appear to allow for a lot of smack talk about sugar cereals, but who then grew up into the sort of baker who offers the delightful treat Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies. I made this cookie three times, and it is a real winner, but if I do so say myself, the best version was the one in which I made a boo-boo. 

The author asks that you start these cookies off with a 12 ounce bag of chips, reserving half for the chocolate chunks to be added at the end. I forgot, and melted it all at once, yielding a supremely chocolate cookie, with a delightful espresso finish, kind of like the last sip of coffee you scarf before heading out the door for that long slog to the Metro. 

This is your basic cookie recipe – you are doing the creaming thing, then the dry ingredients thing, and I chose to roll my dough into little balls and then watch them spread in the oven. A little soft in the middle, but cracked on the sides is how you want these mammas to come out. If you reserve your chips toward the end, you will have that chunky fun in almost every bite, but for my taste, the fat of the cookie was sort of overwhelming without that extra melted chocolate. What chocolate you use may matter in this case, though I made this once with Nestle chips to great results. 

They freeze well too – a big priority for me and one you may hear more about in the coming months. If you’ve got a cookie (or other bite-sized confection) that well tolerates a few weeks in the freezer (I am mulling those cream cheese cookies from a while back that I Hoovered down by the dozen when my colleagues were not beating me to them) do let me know!

Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies by flourchild

Serves 24

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips, divided 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tablespoon (or less, to taste) instant espresso powder (recommended: Medaglia d'Oro)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


AntoniaJames May 4, 2012
Made these for a big neighborhood brunch last weekend. They disappeared in record time! I was inspired by the instruction that says "it looks like brownie batter" actually to turn some extra batter from drbabs' Chocolate Fantasy Brownie Bites, another chocolate treat recipe featured in this column, into cookies, with great success. You should have seen the look on people's faces when they bit into something shaped like a cookie but with the texture and flavor of a brownie. Nota bene. ;o)
ELCookie April 23, 2012
I make and freeze a lot of cookies. Maida Heatter's Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti as well as Gourmet's Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti (I make them without the walnuts) work particularly well. I shorten the baking time and thus they are not as hard when I freeze them.
Annikakj April 23, 2012
Thinking of adding crystallized ginger chunks instead of espresso and rum....
AmyRuth April 22, 2012
to clarify: Do you like to eat the cookies frozen? or just keep them "more for me" in the freezer for later consumption or? both? also you prefer them with the total amount of chocolate in the dough melted right?
Author Comment
Jestei April 23, 2012
i am freezing a lot of cookies right now for a special event in a few weeks. so i will defrost them all that AM in their containers and then serve them. you can go any way you want on this, of course.
AmyRuth April 22, 2012
I stopped reading at the second comment re: google and thought interesting that you know the search engine takes you where it takes you when you search cheek to cheek. Hilarious!!! Now back to the originally schedule program. .....
skyservant April 22, 2012
Just made these delicious cookies. Easy, made a goodly number to share with a neighbor. Will definitely make these again & again. I wonder if you could add walnuts or pecans? I really liked the espresso & rum flavors.
Author Comment
Jestei April 23, 2012
i am not a huge nut in cookie fan myself so i am not the best person to answer this, but i think pecans would probably be best bet or even peanuts. walnuts somehow dont work for me.
gt9 April 22, 2012
Ok! Made them...going fast around here...and the dough that hasn't been baked is not safe from cookie monster hands and mouths. Thanks J!
Author Comment
Jestei April 23, 2012
I am so glad you liked them. These are real winners I think and pretty quick to the oven.
bthelove April 22, 2012
Jenny, I love your humor! And the cookie looks dang good, too.
Author Comment
Jestei April 23, 2012
Why thank you I hope you get the chance to make them
bostongal April 22, 2012
Whilst I have a batch of seed/coconut/flax muesli in the oven I log on to read about this evil little delight. I shall have to make them and hide them from DH who really shouldn't eat them - which really means more for me LOL.

I cannot wait to bake these and thank you for the delightful reading!
Author Comment
Jestei April 23, 2012
I hope you make them and like them
gt9 April 21, 2012
Well, one of my favorite songs, i wonder as i wander....now I don't need to wonder anymore about what to bake tomorrow...thanks Jenny.
Blissful B. April 17, 2012
As a child of a mother who baked & froze baked cookies daily (we had a freezer downstairs), I can assure that 99% of cookies freeze & defrost well. I'd say meringues are the only exception (they get mushy). So, go ahead and bake to your cravings' delight: crispy, chewy, chunky, soft, frosted or not! As a grown woman, I do this myself, which allows me to keep a stash in the freezer. I can then eat just one a day, getting my cookie fix without eating the whole batch at once (which I admit I was more prone to do in my twenties).
mrslarkin April 18, 2012
totally agree with BB here. Almost all baked cookie freeze well.
mcs3000 April 17, 2012
I have made said cookles and they are a winner. Must try your way, Jenny. @melissav - Love Amanda's recipe. Girl Scout Thin MInts are also excellent right out of the freezer.
rapearson April 16, 2012
I haven't tried freezing baked cookies, usually I just divide the dough up into chunks/balls/discs and freeze. Baked frozen cookies would be way too tempting I think to my husband and step-son. ;-)
Angela April 16, 2012
"...kind of like the last sip of coffee you scarf before heading out the door for that long slog to the Metro."

omg, I just did this (as I read @amandahesser's tweet of this recipe! and now when I get off the Metro, I'll be getting to melting some chocolate chips for this cookie! thanks! :)
Author Comment
Jestei April 16, 2012
i love that you make cookies at home alone.
Angela April 16, 2012
haha, I forgot I even had that as an answer. but I am in fact home alone (sleeping baby upstairs, husband out at a meeting) and I'm baking these cookies right now! hopefully most will make it to my coworkers back at work and mourning the end of recess!
Author Comment
Jestei April 17, 2012
Do you work on the hill?????
melissav April 16, 2012
Amanda's chocolate chip cookies (called flat and chewy or something like that) in the NYT Essentials cookbook freeze exceptionally well, so well that we always end up eating them straight from the freezer without baking them. It is a toss-up as to whether I prefer them baked or straight from the freezer.
Author Comment
Jestei April 16, 2012
ohhhhhhhhh cookie-pop. yum. i love this thread.
Rivka April 16, 2012
I also regularly roll my cookie dough into balls, plop them in a freezer zip bag, and let 'em hang out till I get a hankering (which, in my case, is pretty much every day). Nice recipe.
Author Comment
Jestei April 16, 2012
Do you freeze them on flat surface before putting them in bags?
BlueKaleRoad April 24, 2012
I freeze my cookie dough balls on a baking sheet first and then transfer to a ziploc. Great to keep a stash on hand! I can't wait to bake some of these - thanks for sharing the recipe!
drbabs April 16, 2012
Aren't these great? I like them chunky with chips myself, but will have to try your version. Here's another cookie that freezes well:
Author Comment
Jestei April 16, 2012
Yum I will try those this weekend!