Monday, February 20, 2006

A little chocolate goes a long way

It’s cold today, baby, but summer’s right around the corner. The hot, unyielding summer, resplendent with wide-brimmed hats, the ocean breeze- and swimsuits. After a season of brown, yet delicious, comfort foods, I’m in no shape to squeeze into an unforgiving lycra bikini.

You’d never guess from reading this, but DucCat and I have indeed been striving for a somewhat more healthy mode of eating. Brekkie is full of satisfying whole-grains and yogurt, while lunch has become green with salads and raw vegetables.

You’ve seen some of the dinners, but those are the ones that have kept us going between evenings of lighter fare. The biggest change has been no desserts. Not a single one has graced our little kitchen since the holiday baking spree.

Taking all of this into account, I found myself unable to say no to DucCat one evening, when he so cleverly ate a salad for dinner- then asked very sweetly for something chocolatey. Something brownie-like. Something delicious, and filled with good-for-the-soul ingredients.

Luckily, I had just the thing: Chocolate-Espresso Cookies.

Now, a brownie would have been great, but I wanted the quickness of a cookie. The compromise came from the dough itself, impossibly loose for scooping out by the tablespoon. Since I didn’t have time to let it firm up in the fridge, I pulled out my mini-muffin tin, and put it to work.

And what good work it was. Each warm mouthful was much like a little brownie, especially since I took care to underbake a bit. Just to gild the lily, I drizzled on a quickie chocolate glaze.

There ain’t nothin’ healthy to see here, folks. *big smile*

Chocolate-Espresso Cups

adapted from

6 Tablespoons AP flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (I used an equivalent amount finely ground coffee)
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
Combine bittersweet chocolate and butter in large heavy saucepan over low heat until melted (I did this in the microwave on low power, stirring frequently). Remove from heat.
In medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, espresso powder/coffee and vanilla until well blended.
Stir egg mixture into warm chocolate mixture.
Stir in the dry ingredients; stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop batter by spoonful into prepared mini-muffin cups, and bake for about 10-12 minutes.
Use a toothpick to test for doneness; the interiors should still release a fair amount of moist crumbs, while tops will look done.
Transfer cups to racks for cooling, and let cool completely.

Optional glaze: I was going to make a ganache, but didn't have any cream, so simply made a glaze of melted chocolate and milk. After doing so, these needed to be kept in the refrigerator. To enjoy again, warm briefly in a low oven.


Blogger MeBeth said...

If it weren't so late I'd make this right now - I have all the ingredients. I've had a major sweet tooth for the past week or so. I'm blaming all the Valentine's propaganda.

February 21, 2006 11:54 PM  
Blogger Backyard Chef said...

Wow, that's evil. Those look so great. Bye-bye diet, hello cookies. Thanks for sharing-- great picture.

February 22, 2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger it's only fuel said...

Ah're killin' me here! Oooey and goooey, yum!

February 23, 2006 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I love the idea of baking them in muffin tins! That makes them a perfect cross between a cookie and a brownie, and cuter than both. Thanks for the idea!

February 24, 2006 12:45 PM  

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