Coffee and chocolate. Chocolate and coffee. The two go hand in hand.
There are roasted coffee notes in chocolate and and rich chocolate notes in coffee.
I find that we generally use coffee as a dual flavor component with chocolate -mocha- or as way to intensify chocolate. Not often is it the other way around. These cookies focus on the espresso flavor with the chocolate as an undertone.
Since being nut-free, I’ve been brainstorming different ways to create texture. One ingredient I’ve played with are cacao nibs. Wonderfully bitter with a distinct chocolate flavor, and reminiscent of roasted coffee beans without that awful woody texture. Alone I felt the weren’t quite crunchy enough so I candied them. This way, the bitterness is the undertone and the chocolate flavor hits the palate first.
Candied cacao nibs
.5 cups granulated sugar
.75-1 cup cacao nibs
In a medium skillet (do NOT use non stick) combine the sugar and water. Bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Toss in the cacao nibs and stir till the sugar crystallizes. Transfer to a Silpat to cool.
1 stick of butter, at room temp
1 cup dark brown sugar
3T granulated sugar
1 t vanilla
1.75 Cups AP flour
.5t baking powder
.5t baking soda
.5 t salt
2T espresso grind coffee
-Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer on medium speed for two minutes, add the vanilla and the eggs and mix to combine.
-Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
-Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix just till combined.
-Chill dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This is important for shaping the dough. Meanwhile preheat oven to 325*F.
-Scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I used a disher to ensure even cookies but a heaping tablespoon will work as well.
-After they are scooped pick up each ball and dunk the top into the cacao nibs. Thus will work if the dough is chilled. If your dough is warm, generously sprinkle the tops.
-Gently push down the tops of the balls to create thick disks.
Your unbanked cookies should look like this: