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.