After that long, rough winter we just had, this balmy spring weather has me feeling a bit like a butterfly that's just sprung free from its cocoon. A kinda-fluffy-around-the-middle, slightly-out-of-shape, not-particularly-graceful butterfly.
That probably explains why I signed up for a 5K run a few weeks back during an impulsive fit of must-get-back-into-shape-ness, because I must have been out of my mind. The race is at the end of this month. I've gone on exactly two training runs so far. Two.
Considering I normally wouldn't run more than a couple of blocks even if I was being chased by a horde of brain-hungry zombies, I'm pretty sure this is going to be more of a 5K really-fast-walk-with-occasional-bouts-of-jogging
And because the universe loves irony, I also received a sampling of Valrhona's new Grand Cru chocolate bars to try out at exactly the same time. (Yes, food blogging occasionally involves free chocolate. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.)
The package included three different kinds of chocolate: creamy sweet Bahibe milk chocolate, fruity Aranguani dark chocolate, and my most favourite of all, Blond Dulcey, an unusual blond chocolate with a creamy biscuity flavour that I can only describe as utterly addictive. I'm serious. This stuff should be classified as a controlled substance.
My initial plan was to just devour the entire chocolate bar straight-up while no one was looking, but that would've made for a really boring recipe.
So instead I decided to chop up the bar into itty-bitty chunks and folded it into my favourite chocolate chip cookie batter to make these gorgeously chewy cappuccino cookies. You see the sacrifices I make for you guys?
Thankfully, I'm a much better baker than I am a runner... because these are some pretty awesome cookies, if I do say so myself. They're big and soft and chewy, just like a proper chocolate chip cookie should be, and dotted all over with dark speckles of instant coffee and blond chocolate.
Of course, a creamy milk chocolate would do just fine if you can't hunt down a bar of Blond Dulcey, but the subtly bitter note of the coffee and the toasty caramel sweetness of the chocolate are particularly perfect together.
I plan on making another batch so that I can reward myself with one of these as my post-race treat at the end of the month. Forget the zombies... this is something worth running for.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 bar (70g) Valhrona Blond chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line two large cookie sheets parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated, then stir in the vanilla.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to the wet ingredients, and stir until just barely combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing about 3" apart.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and centres look set. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.