Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A chip off an old block...

When I first moved to Philadelphia, we didn't have a coffee pot.  I didn't mind, because I wasn't in the habit of drinking coffee, but one of my housemates was all about coffee.  We bought instant coffee to tide her over until we could obtain a coffee pot, which happened relatively quickly.  Thus, we had a lot of leftover instant coffee.  What to do?

That general idea (having things and needing to re-purpose them just a little, with somewhat limited resources) resulted in the following recipe, adapted from this recipe.  The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive in both Philadelphia and Rochester, so I thought I would share it with y'all.  Since this isn't a food blog, I don't have pictures like the real dedicated folk.  Sorry!  I will try to be as clear as possible. =)

Rachel's Cafe Cookies 
(Scientists are all about naming things after themselves, and I really couldn't think of a better title.  If you come up with one, I'll happily oblige you!)

2 cups brown sugar, softened
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
3 cups all-purpose flour (wheat is equally good and adds a nutty flavor; you can add some of each, to total three cups, if you like)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons instant coffee (dry)
1/2 to 1 cup instant oatmeal
2 to 3 cups chocolate chips (to be fair, I never am exactly sure how much chocolate goes in - I really ballpark this.  I also will often use dark chocolate chips, and the ones that I've bought are larger than "normal" size chocolate chips.  Ultimately, that results in larger cookies.)

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Cream the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until the mixture is homogeneous, then add the eggs.  If desired, add vanilla.

2.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (except the oatmeal and the chocolate chips).  Mix well, and then add to the butter sugar mixture.  Sometimes I've been able to do this with my hands, and other times I have to use a large fork because the batter is too sticky.  This is correlated with the addition of vanilla (no vanilla, less sticky), but I am not convinced that there is an underlying causation there.  Just something I've observed.  

3.  If the dough is sticky, chill in the fridge for about half an hour.  Drop about 1/8 cup dough rolled into a ball, onto a greased cookie sheet, about two inches apart (you should be able to get a dozen on there without trouble from spreading).  Bake about 10 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown.  I personally go for chewier cookies, so if you're looking for a crunchier cookie, you're looking at 11 or 12 minutes.  There is some variation in ovens, so I would watch the first batch and go from there.  

Yield: ~ 3 dozen (but mine are larger, you could probably get closer to 4 dozen with smaller chocolate chips and smaller cookies)

N.B.  The Betty Crocker recipe mentions a coffee sugar drizzle.  I've never tried to make it, because when I first made these cookies, we didn't have any confectioners sugar.  The reviews have been great without it, so I haven't had any motivation to change the recipe.

That's all for now from this corner of cyberspace.  I hope that everyone out there is well and staying warm!

Peace and all good,

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