Category Archives: espresso powder

Dusty Bliss Chocolate Espresso Cookies

cookies

Chocolate is good. Coffee is good. And when you combine these two delicious ingredients you have something truly amazing; case in point these chocolate espresso cookies from Saveur magazine.  All I can say is “oh my”.

I like to add a touch of espresso powder to my chocolate baked goods since it enhances the complexity and depth of the chocolate taste. But when you add more, here a full 1/4 cup, you are rewarded with an intense dose of coffee flavor that is actually tempered by the chocolate. The pecans, both mixed into the dough and then dredged on top of the finished cookie (with more chocolate of course), adds crunch. These are really amazing cookies and are quickly becoming a favorite in my house.

So why don’t you try them for yourself? They make the perfect mid afternoon pick-me-up –with or without a cup of coffee.

DUSTY BLISS CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO COOKIES

34 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
14 cup instant espresso
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
23 cups finely chopped pecans, divided
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • Heat the oven to 375°. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the espresso powder and butter on medium speed of a hand mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the egg, beating well until smooth, then beat in the bittersweet chocolate and vanilla.
  • Add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough just comes together, then stir in 1 cup pecans.
  • Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1 12-inch balls then place the prepared baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart.
  • Press each cookie gently with the palm of your hand to flatten, then bake until set, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to a rack and let cool completely.
  • Pour the melted semisweet chocolate into a bowl. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate then dredge in the remaining 23 cup pecans.
  • Transfer the dipped cookies to a sheet of parchment paper and let the melted chocolate set before serving.
Yields: 3 dozen cookies

 

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Twenty-Five Days Of Cookies: Midnight Biscotti

biscotti

Christmas is thirteen days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies. They can be plain or chocolate and can be filled with nuts, candies, dried fruit or nothing at all. They are crisp and make for the perfect dunking cookie. And if you can keep them around, they get crisper and better with age. Because of this they are my go to cookie for care packages since they are guaranteed to arrive ready to eat. But what is my favorite type? Its hard to say but these chocolate biscotti are pretty darn good.

Chocolate, Yes, chocolate. And if you love chocolate it hard to get more chocolatey than with these triple chocolate biscotti. They are a sophisticated and decidedly adult treat whose color is so darkly brown it is almost black, hence the reason I call them midnight biscotti. With semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder and chocolate chips you get a triple dose of chocolate in every bite. Rich dark brown sugar and a bit of espresso powder enhance the chocolate flavor in these cookies without making them too sweet. Rather, they are intensely chocolate. Whats not to love?

I know I love them. So pour yourself a nice cup of coffee, grab a biscotti (or two) and dunk away. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

MIDNIGHT  BISCOTTI

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa

1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder

2 teaspoons vanilla powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 300.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the chocolate and brown sugar and process until the chocolate is very fine.  Set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, vanilla powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on medium-high speed.  Reduce the speed to low and mix in the sugar and flour mixtures until a stiff dough forms.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • On a floured surface, divide the dough in half.  Form each half into a long that is 12 inches long.  Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet and use your fingers to pat the logs into a uniform shape and size.
  • Bake until the dough is almost firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven but leave the oven on and allow the logs to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Using a spatula, carefully transfer the logs to a work surface.  Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into slices that are 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  • Arrange the slices, cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes then turn the slices over and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and allow the cookies to sit with the oven door ajar until the oven has cooled.

Yields:  Approximately 30 cookies

Midnight Biscotti

biscotti

Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies. They can be plain or chocolate and can be filled with nuts, candies, dried fruit or nothing at all. They are crisp and make for the perfect dunking cookie. And if you can keep them around, they get crisper and better with age. Because of this they are my go to cookie for care packages since they are guaranteed to arrive ready to eat. But what is my favorite type? Its hard to say but these chocolate biscotti are pretty darn good.

Chocolate, Yes, chocolate. And if you love chocolate it hard to get more chocolatey than with these triple chocolate biscotti. They are a sophisticated and decidedly adult treat whose color is so darkly brown it is almost black, hence the reason I call them midnight biscotti. With semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder and chocolate chips you get a triple dose of chocolate in every bite. Rich dark brown sugar and a bit of espresso powder enhance the chocolate flavor in these cookies without making them too sweet. Rather, they are intensely chocolate. Whats not to love?

I know I love them. So pour yourself a nice cup of coffee, grab a biscotti (or two) and dunk away. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

MIDNIGHT  BISCOTTI

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa

1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder

2 teaspoons vanilla powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 300.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the chocolate and brown sugar and process until the chocolate is very fine.  Set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, vanilla powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on medium-high speed.  Reduce the speed to low and mix in the sugar and flour mixtures until a stiff dough forms.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • On a floured surface, divide the dough in half.  Form each half into a long that is 12 inches long.  Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet and use your fingers to pat the logs into a uniform shape and size.
  • Bake until the dough is almost firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven but leave the oven on and allow the logs to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Using a spatula, carefully transfer the logs to a work surface.  Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into slices that are 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  • Arrange the slices, cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes then turn the slices over and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and allow the cookies to sit with the oven door ajar until the oven has cooled.

Yields:  Approximately 30 cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

IMG_4222

Whoopie pies were a childhood staple growing up in Maine. These sandwich cookies were essentially miniature chocolate cakes filled with gooey marshmallow filling. You could make them at home as my best friend’s mother did but my favorite were the ones sold on the counters of neighborhood general stores. This was back in the days before 7-11s and Cumberland Farms (a very Maine store)  took the place of small family run general stores. The best whoopie pies were always locally made, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stacked high by the cash register waiting to be bought with a hard earned quarter. (I’m dating myself here).

Since I left Maine I have never been able to find a whoopie pie that tastes quite as good as those from my childhood. This recipe, adapted from Williams Sonoma, however, is a decidedly more sophisticated take on my childhood favorite. Gone is the overly sweet gooey filling and in its place is a creamy peanut butter one. The cookies are still soft but the addition of espresso powder to the dark cocoa powder makes the flavors pop. Purists may argue that these aren’t whoopie pies but if that is the case I dare say they are even better than the original.

For the cookies:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the peanut butter filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat the butter until it is fluffy and pale yellow.
  • Add the sugar and beat until incorporated.
  • Add in the the eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until blended.
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • With dampened hands, shape the dough into 3/4-inch balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Using a spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup, press down on each ball to flatten it slightly.
  • Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the peanut butter filling: In a large bowl, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter and vanilla until blended and smooth.
  • Cover and refrigerate until the cookies are cool.
  • To assemble the cookies, spread the flat side of half of the cookies with 1 1/2 tsp. of the peanut butter filling.
  • Top with a second cookie, flat side down, pressing lightly to make a cookie sandwich, and serve.

Yields 36 whoopie pies

 

Mexican Brownies

IMG_3065

I’m an unabashed fan of all things chocolate and when the weather cools down I love to sip a rich, creamy and spicy mug of Mexican hot chocolate. The warm chocolate is spiked with spicy cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper for a kick that takes the drink far beyond your hot chocolate mix you drank as a kid. So with this cool weather I’ve been baking a lot and on a recent afternoon as I was sipping the afore mentioned hot cocoa I began to wonder how I could take the drink I love and turn it into a baked good. The answer….my friends…..are these sweet and spicy brownies.

The recipe is an adaptation of my favorite amaretto brownie recipe. These brownies have the same rich and fudgy texture as their almond infused counterparts. This version, however, is kicked up a notch with the inclusion of cinnamon, cayenne pepper and, for good measure, espresso powder. Adjust the amount of cinnamon and cayenne pepper to please your own taste buds; just be sure to mix the spices when adding them to the flour otherwise you may encounter a rather spicy surprise. Espresso powder is readily available in the coffee section of most grocery stores. If you don’t have any you can substitute instant coffee instead. Simply give it a whirl in a spice grinder first to ensure that it is super fine.

These brownies are best served warm and for an extra special treat, top them with a scoop of ice cream. Yum!

MEXICAN BROWNIES

5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil then coat lightly with vegetable spray.
  • Melt the chocolates, butter, and cocoa in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.
  • Whisk the sugar, eggs, extract, and salt together in a large bowl until well combined.
  • Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour with the espresso powder, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until no streaks remain.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before removing the brownies from the pan using the foil and cutting into squares.

YIELD: 36 small brownies

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