I’m in France at the moment. I’m not sure where to begin telling you how wonderful everything is. The people? The food? The pace of living life? The culture? The style? The vastness and diversity of the country?
I think you probably already know, anyway. But if you’ll indulge me when I come back, I will do my best.
Remind me to tell you about the chocolate-making beavers.
Meanwhile, because I didn’t want to leave you hanging for two weeks, I prepped this post for you before I left. It’s the most loving thing I can think of: cookies.
In fact, this cookie is perfectly representative of the French way of doing things: Make everything as wonderful and pleasurable as possible, but don’t overdo it. Maybe I’m biased, but these are definitely among my favorites. They’re chewy, full of good, bittersweet chocolate, a noticeable coffee flavor, and the mellow, nutty sweetness of coconut. It’s like a decadent frappuccino all up in there, in cookie form.
This seems like a lot of… Stuff to gather up. And I guess it is, but that’s okay–it’ll all end up in your mouth. At once. It will be divine!
Chocolate chips are convenient and cute. But there’s something about the rustic irregularity of chunks like these that I just love. Also, I adore the sound and feel of hacking up a good bar of chocolate.
Espresso powder goes in with the dry ingredients. It’s a common (and wise) trick to use just a bit to enhance the flavor of chocolate, but here, we use a bit more. Who’s enhancing whom? We’ll never know who the real hero is.
… and ACTION. This recipe (adapted from Alton Brown) uses melted butter instead of room temperature, so instead of creaming the butter and sugars together, this looks more like…. Liquefying. I’ll go with it.
Coconut and chocolate. Into coffee-flavored cookie dough… If you have a suspicious feeling this might be delicious, you are very correct.
Roll up your sleeves to mix… There’s a lot of stuff in there.
At this point you’re supposed to refrigerate the dough. However, I find that when I do that, I usually end up with cookies that don’t spread enough and therefore, aren’t really as chewy/thin as I would like. This might be my oven’s fault–I am not sure.
Either way, do a test cookie to find what works perfectly for you. If you haven’t figured out your oven’s quirks and your own cookie preferences, this is a good way to do so. It was after countless trials and errors that I finally saw the light and realized chilling the dough just isn’t for me (and my current oven) most of the time.
You probably already know all of this. However you do it, I think you should make this work for you… No frappuccino on Earth can compete with a cookie. Sorry, it’s true.
Also, I can’t wait to play show-and-tell with my trip. Belgium tomorrow, home in a week!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
- 1 3.5-oz bar semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or about a cup of chocolate chips)
- Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Sift together the flour, espresso powder, salt and baking soda. Whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a cup. Using a mixer, mix together sugar, brown sugar and melted butter in a large bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
- Gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, stir in coconut and chocolate chips.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Divide the dough into 24 balls and flatten slightly to form cookies. Place on parchment-paper lined cookie sheets (6 cookies per half-sheet). Bake for 10-15 minutes (10 minutes for chewy, soft cookies, 15 for some crispness on the outer edges), rotating the pans halfway through for even baking. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.