I was raised on a macrobiotic diet, but my parents were fanatical about their Peet's coffee. And although I wasn't allowed much in the way of sweets as a child, when we visited Peet's to stock up on beans, my parents let me indulge in a chocolate bar while they sipped steaming cups of French roast.
I've associated coffee with chocolate ever since, and these cookies are a childhood memory personified. (The addition of dark rum is a nod to my grown up tastes.) —flourchild
Test Kitchen Notes
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.
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! —Jestei
- Serves 24
semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips, divided
(1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups
unbleached all purpose flour
natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder
kosher or sea salt
large eggs, at room temperature
dark brown sugar, tightly packed
(or less, to taste) instant espresso powder (recommended: Medaglia d'Oro)
pure vanilla extract
dark rum (optional)
- Heat oven to 325 degress F and line two 13x18" baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment.
- In a small saucepan over very low heat (or in the microwave), melt half the chocolate with the butter, stirring frequently and watching it carefully to ensure it doesn't burn or seize. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (can also be done by hand or with a handheld mixer), beat the eggs, sugars, instant espresso powder, vanilla and rum (if using) on medium-low speed until well combined. Add the chocolate-butter mixture and beat again to incorporate. Add the flour mixture and remaining chocolate and beat on low speed until a sticky dough forms (it will resemble brownie batter), scraping down the sides and bottom as needed to ensure the mixture is well combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
- Using a tablespoon or 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop, drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing two inches apart and from edges. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheets (front to back and top to bottom) halfway through. The cookies are done when the tops are cracked and the edges are set, but the interior still appears relatively wet (see photo, above). Remove baking sheets to cooling racks for two minutes, then remove cookies from the baking sheets to cool completely. Tip: If using parchment paper, slide the paper (with cookies on it) directly from the baking sheets to the cooling racks. Cookies will keep for 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature, for a week in the refrigerator or up to a month in the freezer (be sure to defrost them in the container or wrapping to prevent condensation from forming on the cookies as they thaw).