Okay, I’ll admit it – I am sometimes a bit of a chocolate snob. I have often looked down on white chocolate as being the inferior cousin of the good stuff. The 65% and up stuff, the dark and dangerous stuff. White chocolate was just too sweet, too bland. But I am being forced to eat my words – literally – thanks to these here cookies.The combination of espresso and white chocolate has been floating around in my brain for awhile now, and I finally took the plunge. But not before adding in one of my (already documented!) favourite flavours, burnt butter.What can I say about these cookies? Let’s just say that I had to force myself to photograph them before I stuffed too many into my gob. They’re that good, a perfect marriage of flavours. The burnt butter adds a caramel-like nuttiness while the espresso comes through sharply, preventing the white chocolate overpowering with its sweetness. I implore you to try them! And don’t skip the chilling step. Once you’ve gotten a whiff of the batter it’s close to impossible to leave them in the fridge overnight, but it is so worth it – it gives the cookies a crunchy exterior that gives way to a dense, chewy, brownie-like middle. Excuse me, I’m off to have another.
White Chocolate, Espresso and Burnt Butter Cookies
Adapted from une gamine dans la cuisine
170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp. instant espresso powder
90g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
100g (1/2 cup) white (granulated) sugar
1 large egg
260g (1 3/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
250g white chocolate chips
Melt the butter over med-low heat. Keep cooking, stirring occasionally to keep it from catching on the bottom, until it turns a nice deep brown and smells nutty. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, combine the instant coffee with enough boiling water to turn it into a smooth paste. You will only need a few tablespoons.
Add the coffee and vanilla to the butter. Cool to room temperature. (If I could bottle this scent, I would. These cookies are worth making just to smell this stuff.)
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the sugars and cooled butter mixture, starting on low and increasing to med-high speed, until well combined and slightly lightened – about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until well combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and beat until just combined.
To form the cookies, roll about two large tablespoons of dough into a ball, flatten slightly and place on a lined baking tray. You should end up with about 12 large cookies, but feel free to make smaller if desired! Here comes the hard part, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. If you really can’t wait that long, try to chill them for at least 8 hours.
Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Place 4 cookies on another lined baking tray (they spread quite a bit) and bake 12-15 minutes until the edges have browned. They will still be quite soft in the middle, but will harden as they cool. Leave on tray for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
I’m really proud of these cookies, I hope you like them as much as I do.