Coffeehouse Cookies

April 15, 2010 · 30 comments · Print This Post

in 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.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie April 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm

These cookies look delicious!

I enjoy your blog and miss reading your posts. Blogging is such a committment, almost like a second job. I think it’s great that your life is so good! That’s what it’s all about!


2 Amanda April 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm

My vote is for Cappuccino Blondies or something. Or could you maybe make a tasty biscotti, melt the chips and drizzle? Do they behave like chocolate chips?


3 Memoria April 15, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Today marks the day that my schedule will get busier, so I understand how you feel. As long as you post every once in awhile, you can keep the masses happy haha! It is a good thing you have priorities in line and that you’re also enjoying life. Take care!


4 katy April 15, 2010 at 11:55 pm

These look wonderful — but most of all I am happy things are going so well for you! I think the occasional great blog post in an otherwise very full life sounds like the way to go.


5 Memoria April 15, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Oh! I just thought of how you could use your chips! You could use it in chocolate (or vanilla or espresso) ice cream! YUM!


6 Memoria April 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Last message today! I’m bookmarking these cookies. They look perfect!


7 Sara April 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

Cappuccino chips + peanut butter cookies = wow.


8 Katelyn April 16, 2010 at 10:50 am

Hey Erin,

I do miss your frequent posts, but I’m so happy for you that your life has become what you’ve wanted it to be!

As for the chips, I vote for scones or mixing them into/sprinkling them atop brownies.


9 Valérie April 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

Blogging shouldn’t feel like a burden. You should post when you feel like it, and not force yourself. I mean sure, we all have days where we need to give ourselves a little push to update – but it shouldn’t be the norm. So while we do miss reading you, it’s good to know you are in a good place in your real life. 🙂

Those cookies look really yummy! And I was not aware cappuccino chips existed, but now I must have them!


10 Marilyn April 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Erin, thanks for good, honest writing and even better-looking cookies.

If you’re happy and life is full, that’s what matters. Your readers love you, so blog as much or as little as you wish, and remember – they (we) want a happy Erin, too.


11 Karen@Mignardise April 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Nothing wrong with blogging whenever you feel like it – twice a week, once a week or once a month. Forget the guilt. This about what’s right for you.

Those cookies look just about right for me. Right now!


12 Karen April 17, 2010 at 8:28 am

I am particularly glad you like your job!
How about cappuccino fudge – substitute cappuccino chips for chocolate, or maybe half and half?


13 joan April 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Always do what you feel, you can do. Life goes too fast. We worry about things that we need not worry about. Easier said than done, I know. I tell myself this, probably several times a week. 🙂
Cappucinno chips sound so good. I was looking at The King Arthur web site on a different post of yours. Yummy stuff!


14 Erin April 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm

An Erin here 🙂

DON’T you ever feel guilty about not blogging. Like you said – your life has changed and while I know you still love blogging, it’s not the same as it used to be. And that’s OK.

We’ll just take you when we can have you and love it.

Cookies look delicious, by the way!


15 Monica H April 18, 2010 at 12:13 am

I for one have missed you but you shouldn’t feel guilty about not blogging as regularly as you used to. That just makes the recipes and stories you do share much more special. I’ll be here to read either way.

As for the cookies- yum! I love anything with coffee flavors. I haven’t tried the cappuccino chips from KAF but Guittard used to make them before they discontinued them. I’ve made a Bailey’s cappuccinno cake that is AWESOME! It’s on my blog if you’re interested. Also since it’s from Guittard, they have recipes online that include this chip. I can imagine it melted down and drizzled on something chocolatey! mmm.


16 Lindsey@pickyeatings April 18, 2010 at 11:25 am

It’s always a good thing to have a job that doesn’t make you cry every Sunday. I have been there and it’s not a pretty place. So no one can blame you for not having as much time to blog, when you have multiple good things going in your life!


17 Kelly April 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Erin – I love the honesty of this post! I can agree with a lot of what you’ve written. I think blogging has fulfilled multiple roles in my life. It’s provided me with a creative outlet, a place to be my own boss, a way to remember all the recipes I’ve made like a digital scrapbook, a way to connect with others, etc. I guess I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had jobs that I liked during the day, but they didn’t always provide me with a consistent creative outlet to do what I want so blogging has filled this void.


18 Hänni April 19, 2010 at 10:59 am

Girl, I can totally relate to everything you said. I’m quite sure that every blogger has had an existential crisis and if they haven’t, they’re just robots! (Am reading Stephanie Meyer’s Host, hence the body snatcher reference).

Love you girl. I can’t -wait- to see you. maybe we’ll both get a blog post out it, but if not, who cares? Margaritas full steam ahead!


19 michelle@TNS April 19, 2010 at 2:52 pm

i totally hear you on the blogging guilt/existential crisis. my life has changed a lot since i started 2+ (!) years ago, and i just can’t keep up the schedule that i’d been running. and i had a lot of blog guilt. eventually i wrote my own “things are changing ’round here” post, and now i’m trying to re-figure out how the blog fits in with my life. which it will, it will just look a little different.

also, those cookies look killer.


20 BonBonVivant April 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I love this article!
I think that you understanding where that drive was coming from, for blogging and cooking, says a lot. I too feel that my cooking and blogspiration was coming from a need, a hole to fill dissatisfaction. I also have had a hard time being inspired lately and well, it’s because i’m happy and busy! I’m very glad your life is going well and I like your site very much. Any way to make those cookies vegan friendly for yoga class? They are too cute!
Take care!


21 china April 21, 2010 at 2:58 am

This cookies look a bit like our walnut biscuits.We often eat but we cannot do them at home.


22 Jess Mann April 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm

If the cappuccino chips do any kind of decent melting thing, you should absolutely make cappuccino ganache and spread it on vanilla cupcakes or chocolate, or even make a super crunchy vanilla cookie sandwich with the c. ganache in the middle. Obviously, if they don’t do a decent melt, all my ideas are poo, of course, other than the one where you just hammer them into the sides of your favorite ice cream sandwich.
p.s. let the bloguilt go. i still heart you.


23 Rachel Elizabeth April 22, 2010 at 7:48 pm

These so make me wish I wasn’t allergic to chocolate.


24 Sues April 22, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Aww I’ve missed you around here, but I know what you mean. That’s kind of how I feel about my personal blog, though I’m still in denial about it 🙂 With We are not Martha, it’s truly a passion and a huge part of my life, so I do whatever it takes to post regularly. But over the last year, I’ve definitely had to prioritize and it’s tough!

And yay for loving your life right now!! 🙂


25 Debbie Bello April 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I think these sound wonderful but I do not drink or eat anything with coffee in it, but love the flavor. Any substitute suggestions?


26 EB April 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I completely had to come to terms with the exact same mid-life blogging crisis myself. Weird isn’t it?


27 Maggie April 27, 2010 at 10:51 am

These look delicious and so much more fun than one-flavor cookies! I think it’s fine to only blog when you’re feeling it…


28 Deelish Dish April 29, 2010 at 12:58 am

You can always come back to this…keep the other balls you’re juggling in the air, let work/blog fall but not family/friends/health etc. We’ll be here for you anytime you’re ready to come back 🙂


29 Bren April 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

Lady E, I feel you on all that! And then I even get some bloggers that borderline chastize me for not blogging enough. I don’t know if I should take it as a compliment or some form of high, unwarranted criticism. We all get busy and life does call. Even though I work from home and dedicate 70% of my time to cooking and blogging, I can’t possibly commit to blogging 2-3 a week. Not with the current lifestyle I have; one which I’m not complaining about. So, kudos to you for not make a real apology for it. You do what you can. When ever you do write, it’s fun and interactive and the food is enticing–you’re fine!

Congrats on settling into new job and that it makes you smile (well, at least not cry) and that you have found some balance.

Now as for the cookies, it’s funny that you blog about them, b/c I’m not one to blog about trendy things, especially where there are specific blogger events going around, but I found myself talking about cookies last week, in desperate search of that perfect homemade recipe in exchange for the best packaged cookies I’ve found to date! Yours sound and look even better!

Now, go on, back to life! 🙂


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