Thick Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

The dozens of batches of cookies I’ve made in my lifetime run the gamut from peanut butter cookies to oatmeal cream pies. My favourites used to be chocolate cookies with white chocolate chunks, but these babies blew those babies out of the water. They’re a mocha riff on the classic chocolate chip cookie, incorporating a little instant espresso powder and cocoa powder into the vanilla batter. The coffee flavour is mild – my sweetie didn’t even know there was coffee in there until I told him! – but it adds a certain depth to the cookie’s flavour, and the milk chocolate chunks I elected to use tasted all the sweeter for the presence of coffee. Likewise, the cocoa powder isn’t noticeable in and of itself, and yet it adds an intensity and a complexity to the overall taste of the cookie.

Thick, chewy, gorgeous... These are my Helen of Troy.

Thick, chewy, gorgeous… These are my Helen of Troy.

The texture is chewy, thick, moist – absolute perfection for a chocolate chip cookie. I’d never been able to achieve this texture before! My chocolate chip cookies always spread out flat and thin in the oven, and I fretted over why. Obvious answer was obvious! This recipe instructs the baker to refrigerate the batter for at least an hour before baking, and then to form the scoops of batter into logs rather than leaving them in oddly shaped rounds. (This way, you get oddly shaped, 2 – 3″ tall logs!) You sort of squish the log vertically onto the cookie sheet, so that the log stays upright. This helps prevent the cookie from spreading out in the oven, and you get these gorgeously thick cookies. They taste like they come from a high-end bakery, the kind where you pay $5 for each cookie.

I went into this recipe thinking that forming the batter into little vertical columns would be a waste of time, but I did it anyway. And darned if I’m not a hardcore convert! If you make no other chocolate chip cookie recipe, make this one.

These. Will. Blow. Your Mind.

Sorry, Santa. You missed out, homie!

Sorry, Santa. You missed out, homie!

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Thick Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: About 24 cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (either bleached or unbleached is fine)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 TBS instant espresso powder OR instant coffee
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups mix-ins of your choice (I used milk chocolate chunks, but you can use anything that strikes your fancy. The original recipe uses Andes mint baking chips)

Method:
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, cocoa powder, and instant espresso powder. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugars until completely smooth and blended. Whisk in the egg, followed by the egg yolk, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Whisk in the vanilla.

Scrape the butter-sugar mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula or wooden spoon. Fold in the mix-ins. Cover bowl and refrigerate for one hour or up to 3 days. You must refrigerate the cookie dough for it to achieve its thick texture. (Ahh-nold says, “Come with me if you want to live!”)

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Let the dough sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes. (If the dough has been refrigerated for longer than 1 hour, it will take up to 30 minutes of sitting at room temperature for it to soften enough to form into logs.) The dough will be a bit stiff, but it should still be soft enough to work with. Scoop 2 – 3 TBS of dough at a time and form each scoop into a log about 2″ long and 1″ to 1.5″ in diameter. (Each log should consist of 2 – 3 TBS of dough.) Press one end of the log onto the parchment paper so that the log will remain standing vertically. Space the logs 2″ apart. You may only be able to fit 9 logs on each cookie sheet.

Bake for 11 – 12 minutes and allow to cool on cookie sheets. The logs will have spread out into cookie shapes. The cookies will look underbaked, but they will firm up just fine as they cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Source: Slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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