Chocolate’s rich, dark, earthy flavor is suited to so many partners. It’s terrific with nuts, salt, olive oil, liqueur, brandy or rum and some types of dried and fresh fruit and red wine. Espresso and spice are a couple of my favorite pairings.
Lately, my work seems to be going in the direction of cookies. They’re so much fun and a favorite for most, handy for a small bliss bite when you don’t want to make a serious commitment to a piece of pie or cake or an indulgence in ice cream. And I’ve been focusing on testing recipes that can be put together in no time in the food processor so there’s no excuse to have some fun every now and then. And they can always be stored in your freezer for those times when you want just a taste.
I didn't really grow up eating cookies besides graham crackers and the Sunshine raisin biscuits I had at my grandmother’s house. So I have a lot of experimenting to do. But it’s the kind of study I gladly embrace considering the reward I get as I gladly give away all the results.
Today's cookie is all about cocoa, spices, espresso powder and an extra swipe of melted chocolate. This cookie is crisp and has just enough of a hit of each of its elements. I’d suggest a piping hot cup of coffee to go along.
- I used natural, not dutched, cocoa powder in this recipe.
- You can re-roll scraps. Just layer them as you go rather than gathering them up into a ball.
- A round flat pizza pan is handy for chilling cookie dough that’s been rolled out.
- Using a vegetable peeler, I shaved about 1 oz chocolate for garnish. They would also taste great with finely chopped nuts or without any garnish at all.
Chocolate Espresso Spice Cookies
Makes 32 cookies
2 C flour
1 1/4 C sugar
1/2 C cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 1/4 t instant espresso powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/8 t cloves
1/4 t salt
8 oz (16 T) cold butter
2 T milk
1 1/2 t vanilla
4 oz chocolate
2 T butter
Place flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, spices and salt into the bowl of a food processor and process to combine. Cut the cold butter into 1/2” pieces and add. Pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Combine the milk and vanila and add. Pulse just until the cookie dough starts to clump and holds together when pinched.
Place half the cookie dough on a piece of plastic wrap and gather together into a disc. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough and roll out to a 10 1/4” circle about 1/8” thick. Slide onto a pan and place in the refrigerator. Repeat with second half of dough. Chill until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment or silpats.
Remove plastic wrap from both sides of cookie dough, leaving one piece underneath. Cut out cookies using a 2 1/2” cookie cutter and place 12 per prepared baking pan.
Bake cookies until the edges are firm, about 14 minutes. Cool completely.
Melt butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Stir to combine. When cookies are cool, spread a layer of chocolate over half the cookie. Garnish with shaved chocolate. Set aside to dry.