Happy Friday! Another week has gone by in a flash. I think I’m getting busier and busier as we get closer to autumn, the most wonderful of seasons (which officially begins September 22nd, in case you were wondering). My mind has been reeling with ideas for cinnamon-spiced this and roasted pumpkin that. But for now, I’m going to stick to chocolate. And espresso. In a cookie. Because, why not? We’ve got 6 months ahead of us to eat all the winter squash we can get our hands on.
The first time I made these double chocolate espresso chip cookies, they were a birthday treat for a dear friend. I came up with the recipe on a whim, because I know that every sane woman loves chocolate, and my friend loves coffee, as well. Combining the two was quite obviously the only choice. This classic flavor combination works so well because the flavors really enhance each other. If you’ve ever eaten a slice of chocolate cake, or a chocolate cookie, and thought that the flavor was richer and deeper than usual, a bit of coffee may have been in the mix!
I often add a bit of strong brewed coffee or instant espresso powder to my chocolate baked goods as a flavor enhancer. In these cookies, though, I included a bit more than usual, so the coffee flavor came through more strongly. If you’re not a coffee lover, feel free to adjust the amount.
Dates also make a good number of appearances in my kitchen (I do consider dates as one of my major food groups, along with chocolate, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower). In my attempt to add a new texture to the cookies, I roughly chopped some pitted dates and stirred them into the mix, along with the requisite chocolate chips. The dates have a caramel-like texture and flavor that’s just lovely to delve into amid the rich chocolate.
Finally, because this is a birthday cookie, and birthday cookies are more special than most, I topped them off with chopped pecans. The extra crunch and buttery flavor of the pecans rounded out the cookies wonderfully, and had everyone coming back for more.
I brought the cookies into work mid-day, and if they hadn’t been so closely guarded by the birthday girl, I can only assume they would’ve been gone in less than an instant. After asking for the recipe (which I had only scribbled down in a notebook as I hurriedly baked them the first time) my coworkers asked me to bring them in again. So, I obliged. I may even make them again this week.
- 1 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoons corn starch
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry or all purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup pitted dates, chopped
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine coconut sugar, apple sauce, coconut oil, almond milk, flaxseed, vanilla extract, and corn starch. Mix until completely homogenous.
- Stir in the dry mixture, a cup at a time, until homogenous. Fold in dates and chocolate chips.
- Scoop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, and press into pecans. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart, flattening slightly with fingertips.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are firm. Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I see these cookies becoming a go-to in my kitchen for all occasions, and especially for the upcoming holidays. What are your favorite cookie recipes? Do you have a particular recipe that you come back to often? After I get through this chocolate phase, I plan to do a lot of autumn themed baking (though I can’t promise chocolate won’t be involved there, too.) What are you looking forward to in the upcoming season?