white chocolate and espresso bean cookies

September 20, 2017


Today's post will be short and sweet, as I'm still recovering from all the Feast festivities this past weekend. I'm also gearing up for about a month's worth of travel throughout the country: first I'm flying down to Colorado to meet Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest and celebrate her new cookbook, before heading up to New England for a retreat with Stonewall Kitchen in Maine and Vermont for Cheese Camp with Vermont Creamery! I'll also be dropping into New York City in the days I have in between to see Erlend, my cat, and my editor (which I'm slightly nervous about, since I haven't made as much progress on Weeknight Baking as I would like...).


So today's recipe is actually an old one that I baked up when I was still living in Brooklyn and completely forgot about until now. In an attempt to rid my pantry of perishable things before moving back to Portland, I spent several weeks cooking and baking everything that was in my cupboard. I had a sudden fit of inspiration and ended up using a leftover bag of chocolate covered espresso beans in place of chocolate chips in one of my favorite CCC recipes. The result was delightful! The espresso beans cut down on the sweetness of the white chocolate chips (which I also had a bag and needed to get rid of, but usually find to be too sweet on their own), and added a wonderful and unexpected crunch throughout the cookie.

Enjoy!


featured:

Some baker's notes:
  • You can find chocolate covered espresso beans online, at Trader Joe's in the snack aisle filled with all the addicting snacks in the plastic tubs, or any candy store. I used a mix that were covered in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and some identified caramel marble swirl (this blend looks similar to what I used). In a pinch, you can use coffee beans, because did you know that espresso beans and coffee beans are actually the same thing? I didn't until I started researching this post! Crazy. 

  • To give the cookies an extra coffee flavor, I threw in a generous amount of espresso powder (which you can get online directly from King Arthur Flour). Note that espresso powder is not the same thing as instant coffee powder; used by bakers, instant espresso powder is like an MSG for chocolate bakes. Small quantities of it makes dark and milk chocolate taste more intense and flavorful. You can read more about it in this article by The Kitchn. For these cookies, it doesn't really matter if you use instant coffee powder though — I used a large enough amount of the espresso powder to give the cookies a coffee flavor, and instant coffee powder will achieve the same thing.

  • The base cookie recipe is based on a chocolate chip cookie recipe from The Violet Bakery; it uses egg yolks as opposed to whole eggs to give the cookies a more tender crumb, looser texture, and a unique golden color. I used 4 egg yolks because I had a spare one left over from another recipe that needed to be used, but you can use 3 and achieve the exact same results. 


White Chocolate and Espresso Bean Cookies

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Ingredients

For the White Chocolate and Espresso Bean Cookies:
(makes around sixteen 3-inch cookies)
  • 2 1/3 cups (11.65 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder (see baker's notes for sources and substitutions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces chocolate covered espresso beans
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) white chocolate chips

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Recipe

For the White Chocolate and Espresso Bean Cookies:
  1. Prepare a sheet pan small enough to fit into your refrigerator by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda until well combined. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat on medium high until well combined, but not too creamy — you're not aiming for light and fluffy here as that would make the cookies too cakey. Add the 4 egg yolks and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, mixing until combined.

  4. Lower the mixer speed to its slowest setting and add the dry ingredients (from the 2nd step), mixing until the ingredients just about disappear into the batter. DO NOT OVERMIX or you'll end up with dense and rock-like cookies. At this point, it's okay to have one or two flour streaks left in the batter. Add 7 ounces chocolate covered espresso beans and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, mixing until combined throughout the batter.

  5. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to scoop individual portions of cookie dough onto the parchment lined sheet pan; I used about 2 tablespoons per cookie. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight for better flavor.

  6. When ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Remove the cookies from the freezer and allow the cookies to rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before placing in the oven.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, or until the center of each cookie is slightly soft and underbaked, but the edges are crispy and golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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