Friday, December 10, 2010

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies: Mocha Nut Cookies


It's Friday?  Again?  I think we have the same conversation every week.  Sorry about that.  If you'll remember, last week I talked about a cookie exchange that I was co-hosting.  It wound up being a small group of people, but it was a lot of fun.  I really should dedicate a post just to the cookie exchange, and the baked brie that fought back!

This week's recipe for Mocha Nut Cookies was one of the two recipes that I made for the exchange.  It was a new one for me, and with some modifications I think I like it.  The original recipe said that it would make balls, but mine spread a little more during baking, losing their rounded shape somewhat. 

I'll be honest, my notes trail off about halfway through the recipe, so I'm not 100% sure what I did!  I guess that means I need to make the recipe again to double check things.  This cookie seemed to be a hit at the exchange, so I'll take that as a good sign.  I replaced the instant coffee with espresso powder, and wow!  You could definitely tell why there was the word "mocha" in the title.  Next time, I'll cut back a bit on the espresso powder (I've made that change in the recipe below already). 

Also, I think that I may try rolling the dough into a log, chilling it, and then slicing the cookies before baking next time.  I just want to see what will happen.  These remind me a bit of a sable, and so that's why I thought I'd try the slice and bake method. 

You may also notice that, at least for the next couple of weeks, my blog has a new background.  Yeah.  Don't worry, I didn't make all that cutesy stuff from scratch.  I found a digital kit.  However, I spent about two hours messing with it.  Was it the best use of my time at the moment, considering I have 12,324 things on my to-do list?  Hmmm...probably not.  However, it sure is cute!  ;)

One more thing.  Is anyone else panicked that it's almost Christmas?  I am. 

Mocha Nut Cookies
adapted from Taste of Home

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp espresso powder (or 2 Tbsp instant coffee granules)
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
Confectioners' sugar for dusting, optional

Preheat oven to 325'F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Gradually add the dry ingredients.  Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips, if using. 

Roll dough into 1-inch balls (I used my #40 disher).  Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Bake 14-16 minutes or until firm.  Let cool on baking sheets for a couple of minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Yield:  4 1/2 dozen cookies.

Enjoy!  :)



5 comments:

Sue said...

Your cookies do look good! I noticed your cute background and other Christmas frills right away...very cute! Yes, I'm in a bit of a panic over the fast approaching holiday, but I'm trying to stay clam and let some things go:)

Jerri said...

You cookies look absolutely scrumptious! I'm loving your cute background too!

I'm hosting a Christmas Recipe party on Thursday (with prizes). Hope you can stop by!

Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out a Choice, Not a Chore} said...

This recipe sounds great. SInce I'm not a huge fan of nuts in cookies, I'm wondering if adding peanut butter would work? I too agree... Christmas is coming too fast!!! :-)

Tracy said...

These look delicious!

Barbara Bakes said...

Christmas did seem to sneak up on me this year. It just occurred to me after reading a post that I haven't given any thought to Christmas meals, just Christmas cookies. It's been a fun 12 weeks.