foodie fridays: chocolate espresso cookies

I am a sucker for two-for-one deals.

Who isn’t?
Happy hours with two-for-one beers. Restaurants with two-for-one appetizers. Don’t even get me started on Payless’ BOGO deal. Wait. Please tell me I am not the only one that still shops at Payless from time to time? Phew. It will be our little secret. Scout’s honor.
After thinking about all the two-for-one deals out there in the world, I thought to myself, hmmmm….what would be the best combination for a two-for-one in terms of food? 
Ginger and ice cream? No.
Cucumber and berries? Been there, done that.  
{cue – light bulb turning on}
I know! How about an insane amount of dark chocolate mixed with espresso? As soon as that thought made its way across my synapses and into the frontal lobe, I grinned from ear to ear. I felt like a mad scientist discovering a new kind of species. This was my foodie Frankenstein.

 

I remember the first time I sipped an espresso. I was seventeen years old and vacationing in Miami with my family. As you know, Miami is full of beautiful people, pristine beaches, and the food is heavily influenced by Cuban heritage. I remember visiting Little Havannah in the heart of downtown Miami and thinking there was so much color and culture, I could see why people love it there. But the real winner of that vacation was trying Cuban espresso for the first time. Being seventeen I was not the coffee connoisseur, but for some reason, I knew way back in my mind that I should savor that moment. I can still taste the earthy espresso and remember how it made my heart race.
Back to the two-for-one.

 

Knowing that I am not a huge sweets person. My typical routine of dessert is opening up the freezer and nibbling on a couple of frozen dark chocolate chips. I’m real wild. Anyways, I wanted to take my love for dark chocolate and espresso, and combine them into matrimony heaven. Thus, the chocolate espresso cookie was born.
The beauty of this cookie is not how easy it is to make, but rather, you can use any kind of chocolate your heart desires -milk, dark, darker and even darker chocolate. It’s like going into Payless and saying, I’ll take the yellow flip-flops, black pumps, and brown knee high boots. The choices are endless!
I will warn you, if you make this cookie at nine o’clock at night, and then eat it, you will be up until after 2 AM.
Espresso is real, people.

Chocolate Espresso Cookies (adapted from Giada De Laurentis)

Makes 10 -12 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup espresso beans
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with slipmats.
Combine chocolate and butter in a small saucepan. Melt the two together over low heat and stir until combined and smooth.
Pulse espresso beans in a food processor until smooth. Whisk espresso beans, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl untiled combined.
Whisk together the sugar, eggs, water, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. In thirds, add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir to combine. Gently fold in the melted chocolate. Add the chocolate chips. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a 1/4  cup of batter onto baking sheets. Bake  for about 18 to 20 minutes. Try to wait for the cookies to cool before eating!!