Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Everyone is searching for meaning in their lives. The one true love, deepest calling, and perfect job absorb many of us well into our 50s and beyond.

Me, I've been fortunate to tie down all the above, so my searching is now directed to something more mundane but just as elusive: the most ethereal chocolate treats. A couple of weeks ago I posted another chocolate cookie, and I wondered if this recipe could come close or even surpass the perfection of the Jacques Torres Mudslide Cookies. I'm sure M. Torres wasn't losing any sleep because the Mudslide cookie is in a league of its own.

I made these cookie's for Di's Second Annual Virtual Cookie Exchange.  Some of my favorite bakers are participating (I am, ahem, late as usual). Di will post a round up on her blog, Di's Kitchen Notebook.

These cookies, which I saw in Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich, have a similar truffly interior, but I missed the sprinkling of flour de del on the tops. M (who was traveling when I made the Mudslide cookies) proclaimed these "excellent" in waves of "mmmm" sounds. They were best while still warm so the crunch of the edges contrasted more sharply with the soft interiors. When cooled, the inside was chewy and the border lost some of its crispness, but was delightful for the aforementioned truffle-like interior.

I made quite a few changes to Alice Medrich's recipe, which you can find in the book, but here is my version, which I think is a little easier but loses none of the flavor or texture that makes these great.

Chocolate Espresso Cookies (adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich)
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6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups/9.33 ounces sugar
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate discs (or substitute chopped bittersweet chocolate)

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a heatproof bowl set over a simmering pan of water, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir until the butter and chocolate are melted. Remove bowl from the pan and set aside while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Beat together eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla until pale, about 5 minutes. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and then add the flour and bittersweet chocolate discs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon liners. Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops are cracked and the edge resists collapsing when pushed lightly with your finger but the center is still softish. Let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to metal racks.


Tracey said...

We're always on-board for any cookie that combines chocolate and espresso. I should make a batch of these for Shane asap!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

So much chocolate cookie goodness over here these days! I'll join M in the waves of "mmmmmm"; these are going on the short list.

margot said...

These look great! Finding the best chocolate treats sounds like an excellent way to direct your energy!

Di said...

There are so many recipes from that book that I want to make! I missed these somehow, but now I'm definitely going to have to make them soon. =)

sporkorfoon said...

Wow those are gorgeous! I'd love to see them on my kitchen table!