Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Out of all the flavor combinations out there, coffee and chocolate is one near and dear to my heart. When I look through a new cookbook or a collection of recipes, the ones that always catch my eye are the ones combining coffee and chocolate. In fact, even if a chocolate dessert doesn’t have some type of coffee flavor in it, I sometimes play around and stir a little espresso powder in — sometimes to add a hint of coffee flavor to the chocolate dessert, but just as often to simply deepen the chocolate flavor. To me, something about coffee, when added in small amounts, seems to make “chocolate” taste like “CHOCOLATE.”
My penchant for chocolate and coffee together must be genetic: both my parents and my brother love it just as much as I do! Coffee is our beverage of choice when we’re together — it flows freely during family get-togethers, and we love it that way. And what better to go with a cup of coffee than an intensely dark chocolate, chewy, chunky espresso-flavored cookie?
These cookies are flavored with ground dark-roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, and your choice of nut — I’ve used both walnuts and hazelnuts. The first time I made them, I swooned with delight. And then I knew I had to make them for my family! Mom, Dad, bro, hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
And since these little two-bite cookies are perfect to give away, how appropriate that this month’s Sugar High Friday event is themed “Sweet Gifts.” I’ll be sending this post off to of Habeas Brulee for SHF #41; you can see the roundup of everyone’s sweet gifts on Friday, March 28th. Package these up in a little cellophane bag, tie it with ribbon, and make the coffee-and-chocolate lover in your life a very, very happy person!
Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Gourmet, March 1997
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I like to use Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons finely ground dark-roast coffee beans
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Chop the nuts, and measure out the 2 cups of chocolate chips. Set 1 cup of the chips aside (these will be melted with the butter and unsweetened chocolate), and run your knife through the remaining 1 cup of chips to coarsely chop them into more irregular chunks.
In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chips (the ones you didn’t chop), and the pieces of butter, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and stir a few times more, just to make sure the chocolate is completely melted.
In the bowl with an electric mixer beat the eggs, sugar, and ground coffee beans together on high speed for about 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is pale and thick, and forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted.
Beat the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then add the dry ingredients and blend just until they disappear into the batter. Stir in the remaining 1 cup chopped chocolate chips and the chopped nuts.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, and bake for 8-10 minutes (in my oven, it takes just about 8.) The cookies will be slightly puffed and cracked on the top. Remove from the oven and let them sit on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before you remove them with a spatula to cool completely on a rack.
Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them.