Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cookie #65 - Washington Chocolate Espresso Bean

After only four days of dreary, rainy weather her in northeastern Pennsylvania, I can't imagine living in the Pacific northwest

Every part of my body hurts
I've had a headache since Sunday. 

To quote Milli Vanilla, "blame it on the rain." 

Aside from grunge music and vampires, Washington State is also known for another pop
culture icon that has rocked the world: 
The largest coffeehouse company in the world with over 17,000 stores in close to 50 countries.
Knowing immediately that my Washington cookie would incorporate coffee,
I decided to try chocolate covered espresso beans.

Side note:  when I was in college, I took an evening biology class.  A classmate friend of mine discovered the cafeteria sold bags of chocolate covered espresso beans and would sometimes eat an entire bag during class.  One day, she complained to me that she was having trouble sleeping.  I asked her if she thought it had anything to do with the fact that she was eating handfuls of coffee beans during class.  She never put two and two together. 

Back to the cookies. 

Since I used actual chocolate covered coffee beans in this recipe, I didn't want to do a dark chocolate cookie.  I was afraid that the bitterness of the chocolate would compete with the bitterness of the coffee beans.  \I also didn't use any brown sugar in this cookie as I initially planned.  I wanted the cookie to be soft and chewy, so I planned on using half white sugar and half brown.  Instead, I used all white sugar and the cookie, once cooled, was crisp and almost melted in your mouth.  I was quite happy with the overall texture.  I think that if it was a softer cookie, the sudden crunch of the espresso beans would give the cookie and odd feel.

Washington Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp espresso powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans (I used Gertrude Hawk)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar together.  Add in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix in espresso powder.  Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add slowly to butter and egg mixture, stirring until just combined.  Mix in chocolate chips and espresso beans.
Drop by rounded tablespoons full onto parchment lined baking sheets about 2" apart.
Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool on sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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