Serves a Crowd

Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies

April 15, 2011
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 24
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups 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 cup 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)
  1. Heat oven to 325 degress F and line two 13x18" baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment.
  2. 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.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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20 Reviews

Claire H. December 27, 2021
These were a delicious addition to my Boxing Day cookie menu and such a hit! This will completely satisfy your chocolate craving. I tried refrigerating the dough of the second batch before putting it in the oven, but I wouldn't recommend it. The dough won't spread as much while baking.
Danika December 23, 2021
Easy to make (I skipped the rum) and taste exactly as you'd expect from the name. These didn't spread much as they baked, but they baked perfectly so that didn't matter to me. If anything, that just means you can bake more at once.
Nancy April 9, 2021
Try using espresso chocolate chips. Also, use coffee liqueur instead of the vanilla and the rum. This increases and enhances the coffee flavor with the chocolate.
Rsmeltzer October 14, 2019
Any idea how to veganize these?
Bianca February 14, 2017
These turned out really great! I made huge cookies though and only got about 13 out of the batter, but they are the perfect soft, crispy, chewy combo. I used instant coffee and found that the flavour did not really come through too much, but really enhanced the chocolate flavour.
Kristina M. March 26, 2015
I used coffee flavored rum instead of dark rum and they came out amazing! Also I'm not sure if this happened to anyone else but my cookies didn't spread they stayed in the cookie scoop shape.
Ivan D. November 3, 2015
The cookies taste amazing, but the same happened to me, the cookies didn't spread much
bgavin January 15, 2015
For this decidedly non-baking cook, this has become my go-to cookie.
Mem February 23, 2014
Anybody who loved Peets as I did from early days at Stanford and until today will appreciate these chocolate treasures with a cuppa Peets espresso. Feed the soul too.
Isabelle T. December 9, 2013
Made these for our office cookie exchange and they were a big hit. Just make sure not to over cook them. They looked like they needed a minute more since they didn't look set in the middle but I am glad I followed the instructions and took them out when I did. Real hit. These will be in my cookie repertoire from now on.
Candy L. October 6, 2013
A new recipe to add to my box, they look yummy!!!
Mariam September 15, 2013
Oh my! These cookies were absolutely delicious with my mid-morning doppio. I also think the picture came out really well...but I'm not sure how to post it and link it to your recipe.
Mary T. August 9, 2013
I would love to say these served a crowd but my kids and husband powered through them in 2 days - this from a family that doesn't normally focus on chocolate. Heavenly...making more right now!
bgavin September 26, 2012
These came out really well. But...I got 42 cookies out of the 15-16 on each cookie sheet, leaving 1.5 - 2 inches between. These are very rich cookies, so maybe my smaller size is a good idea?
AmyRuth April 24, 2012
Judging from the cookie dough I just mixed these cookie "will NOT" keep for 2 days in an airtight container at RT. Who are you kidding :") Yum..!
loubaby April 24, 2012
I have been making the Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies --winner by Kelsey and they are fabulous...but these are different and will definitely try. Thanks
DanaYares April 22, 2012
THESE ARE AMAZING!!! Should be called double chocolate though.
Jessie G. April 22, 2012
I think this is the same recipe - or very similar - to what I have from Firehook Bakery in WDC - they are excellent cookies and always a big hit. I skip the rum ... and sometimes skip the coffee too - depending on how many I want to share with our kids.
Midge April 18, 2011
These sound deeply delicious, and with a cup of coffee - yum.
lapadia April 16, 2011
Beautiful photo, great recipe I love using a rum flavor combo with chocolate and looks like I can pick a cookie off my computer screen! :)