Triple Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons freshly ground espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1/2 cup natural cocoa or cacao powder (Scharffen Berger or Dagoba), not dutched
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (soft to the touch)
2 cups fine-grain natural granulated sugar (evaporated cane sugar) - for example, I love Alter-eco brand, OR do 1 1/2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces chocolate covered espresso beans
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Assemble dry ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cacao powder, and espresso powder. Set aside.
Assemble the wet ingredients: In a big bowl or with an electric mixer beat the butter until it is fluffy and lightens a bit in color. Now beat in the sugar - it should have a thick frosting-like consistency. Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure the first egg gets incorporated before adding the next. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice as well. Add the vanilla and mix until it is incorporated.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients: Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix in about four waves. Stir a bit between each addition until the flour is just incorporated. You could add all the flour at once, but it tends to explode up and out of the mixing bowl and all over me every time I do that. At this point you should have a moist, brown dough that is uniform in color. Stir in the espresso beans and chocolate chips by hand and mix only until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Drop the cookies onto baking sheets: I like to make these cookies medium in size (they are rich!) - and use roughly one heaping tablespoons of dough for each one. I leave the dough balls rough and raggy looking - I never roll them into perfect balls or anything like that - this way each cookie will have a bit of unique personality.
Place the cookies in the oven: Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes on the middle rack. You don't want to over bake these cookies at all or they will really dry out. If anything, under bake them just a bit. When they are done, pull them out to cool.
Tip: If you don't want to bake all the cookies at one once you can freeze some of the dough for quick cookies later. Instead of placing the cookies in the oven put the cookie dough balls into a freezer-quality plastic bag and toss them in the freezer. You can bake straight from the freezer at a later date, up the baking time by a couple minutes to compensate for the frozen dough.
Pairs Well With
I don't like cupcakes. I don't really like cake, tarts, muffins, or most cookies for that matter. I usually find them to be too sweet and lacking in complex, sophisticated flavours. However, sometimes I do crave cookies so I look for recipes that appeal more to adults. Browsing the internet a few days ago, I came across a recipe for cookies that used Espresso to help balance a good hit of chocolate. I was smitten and decided they would be a great cookie recipe to share with family. Credit for the recipe goes to Heidi Swanson from the blog 101Cookbooks.