Coffeehouse Cookies

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve become a bit of an absent blogger. Whereas I used to post several times a week as of late I’m lucky if I can get two or three posts up in a month. Since starting my new job back in October it has become increasingly difficult for me to find the time and inspiration to blog.

In all honestly at my old positions I had more than enough free time to blog from the office on a very regular basis and that allowed me to keep up a fairly rigorous posting pace, but after having spent all day working online with my BFF Blackboard the last thing I want to do is turn on a computer when I get home. So ErinCooks has become a bit of a ghost town and I feel guilty about it every single day. Which borders on the absurd, but since guilt is my “favorite” emotion I just go along with it.

In the past I’ve utilized blogging and a fairly “out there” online presence to make up for something that was lacking in my life. My initial foray into blogging in college stemmed from a pretty intense place of loneliness and connecting to people online (mostly named Erin) filled that need. In a similar fashion, my “food blogging era” of prolific blogging was brought about by an overwhelming dissatisfaction with my rather long stint of assistant type jobs that left me bitter, annoyed, and highly under stimulated in my day-to-day life. So I attempted to balance out those inadequate feelings by writing and cooking incessantly. While the positive feedback I received at my assistant positions never made me feel good (mostly because I felt like a trained monkey could do what I did) a number of thoughtful comments on a blog post I’d written would leave me feeling like a superstar.

Which leads us to now. What do you do with something you’ve historically used to fill holes in your soul that you no longer have? I finally have the “big three” covered. I like my home. I have a good relationship and astonishingly enough I found a job that doesn’t make me cry every Sunday night. In the end I don’t know the answer and I don’t want to stop blogging, but I think I have to come to terms with the fact that I will probably never be able to keep up a three postings per week schedule ever again. It’s just not realistic for my current lifestyle and I suppose that’s ok? All I can really do is try to make the posts that do make it onto the blog as high quality as possible because in the end blogging just for the sake of blogging (to meet a quota or some imagined expectations that don’t actually exist anywhere but in my mind) is just producing noise and I think we all have more than enough of that in our lives.

Anyway, you aren’t here to listen to my existential blogging crisis. So let’s talk cookies. Coffeehouse cookies to be exact. I used a recipe from my favorite cookie cookbook by Peggy Cullen (no relation to sparkly Edward) as a basis (ok excuse) to use not only espresso but also some of the cappuccino chips that I purchased from The King Arthur store while we were in Vermont. I love the yin and yang effect that is produced by combining two flavors of cookie dough and the combination of chocolate and coffee chips creates a great sugar fueled buzz. I can’t give enough positive accolades to the cappuccino chips but I haven’t got a clue what to do with the rest of the bag. What other baked goods do you think might benefit from this unique flavor addition?

Coffee House Cookies
Inspired by the Mocha Marble Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in The Cookie Book by Peggy Cullen

1 shot of espresso
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (preferably Dutch-process)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup cappuccino chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the egg and espresso. Scrape down the bowl using a rubber spatula and beat for a few more seconds.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix on low speed just until absorbed. Divide the mix in half and sift the cocoa into one part; use a rubber spatula to thoroughly incorporate. Combine the chocolate and cappuccino chips in a small bowl and stir half into each of the two doughs.

Using about 1/2 tablespoon of each dough, combine them into balls and drop them onto baking sheets. For perfectly uniform cookies, scoop some of each dough using a 1 1/2-inch-diameter ice-cream scoop, leveling the dough off across the top before dropping onto baking sheets about 3 inches apart.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies puff and the edges of the lighter-colored dough begin to color. Do not over bake. Let sit for 4 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.