Triple Chocolate Mocha Caress Cookies
I have a friend who sends me mix CD’s, aprons and hand-written letters in the mail. She has a laugh that fills up the room, and a singing voice that has brought me to tears. We live so very, very far apart but with her music ringing through the house, and her apron on my hips, it almost feels like she’s not so far away.
You may know her as guest blogger, cake recipe contributor, and chocolate chip cookie co-salter extraordinare, Brenna the Great. Others know her as daughter, sister, friend, lover, colleague, student, lifelivertothefullest. She is truly a wonderful human being, full of wisdom, gumption and those above-mentioned laughs. And besides giving me my personal favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and what may be the most delicious mistake ever baked – she has also given me these beauties.
I’ve known and loved these cookies for a long time. (Both the first and next photo were taken in Francesco’s apartment [which I still miss just for the amazing light] in Montreal circa 2007.) I don’t remember the first time I tasted them, but I do remember that Brenna gave me (or I stole?) a little baggie of them and I liked them so much that I took off my mittens, pulled down the scarf covering the lower half of my face, and basically risked a chilly end while walking down Rue St Catherine in the middle of winter. And I wouldn’t take my mittens off for anything – a fifty dollar bill on the ground? A lost kitten in need of warmth? The mittens stayed on.
As the name suggests, Brenna’s triple chocolate mocha caress cookies are not just another cookie. With three kinds of chocolate – dark, milk and white – plus coffee and cocoa (which, I assume, accounts for the caresses), they are easy pleasers, and, thankfully, relatively easy to make. I haven’t tried to use them to bribe any small children yet – the baby’s still on milk and milk alone – but I’m not sure they’d work. They’re not too sweet – so the kids might leave them all for you! – and have just the right hit of coffee to bring you back when you’re feeling far away.
BRENNA’S TRIPLE CHOCOLATE MOCHA CARESS COOKIES
This recipe, courtesy of Brenna, makes a whole lotta (40? 50?) cookies. Enough to have a handful every day for a week AND have enough to share with neighbors, passersby, acquaintances and, if they are behaving, loved ones. The dough, which is rather thick, can be formed into little balls or just spooned onto the tray for more rustic, and slightly less chewy, cookies. If you like the combination of chocolate and coffee – meaning, if you’re alive – you’ll like these cookies. They’re crunchy thanks to the chocolate chips, chewy, and not too sweet. They are my hands down favorite cookie to have with my afternoon espresso (yep, we got a Nespresso machine and we’re never going back), and have constituted many a breakfast over the years. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, and thanks, Brenna!
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (I substitute butter)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee (or ground coffee) in 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water (I use an espresso)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces dark chocolate chips
6 ounces white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. In a small saucepan over med-low heat, combine butter, vegetable shortening and semisweet chocolate in a small saucepan; stir occasionally until uniformly melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the dough.
With an electric mixer or a whisk beat the eggs, brown sugar and white sugar in a large bowl for about 5 minutes. If you’re using an espresso, add it to the bowl – otherwise, make coffee concentrate by mixture instant coffee with a few tablespoons of boiling water. Add vanilla and the reserved melted chocolate mixture; beat to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder; add to the egg-coffee mixture, then mix in the chocolate chips.
Use a spoon to plop dough in equal sized piles on baking trays. Alternatively, you can roll the dough between your palms for round, chewier cookies (though this is best done with chilled dough as it tends to be sticky). The batter won’t spread very much, so feel free to place the cookies close together on the trays.
Bake in a preheated oven. Cookies will be done when they are slightly firm on the outside, after about 10 – 12 minutes, depending on size. Cool on tray for at least a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.