Accidental recipe: Coffee-hazelnut-chocolate-oatmeal cookies

23 Jan

For about three years living in Colorado, every cookie I baked was a grainy, mortar-textured hockey puck. For each recipe that worked in North Carolina, there was suddenly a useless, tooth-breaking counterpart.

Successful cookie-baking was completely elusive until a little treasure chest of high-altitude-friendly recipes entered my world in the form of the North Fork Ranch‘s family cookbook.

For the first week or so, I was convinced these recipes didn’t work — surely it was the shortening that was making them so crispy. Turns out I was baking everything for about 8 minutes longer than necessary. With adjusted timing, those recipes turned into springboards for chewy, slightly salty cookies that have countless adaptations.

This one was brought on by some leftover coffee and a very tempting bar of hazelnut-infused chocolate from one of Steamboat’s organic food stores, Bamboo Market.

Coffee-hazelnut-chocolate-oatmeal cookies:

1 cup shortening

1 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp coffee, reduced and sweetened

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp salt

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 bar hazelnut chocolate, chopped

1) Cream shortening, brown sugar and sugar with electric mixer.

2) Reduce about 1 cup brewed coffee in a small saucepan with about 1 tbsp sugar. When the mixture starts to get dark and thick, remove it from the heat.

3) Beat eggs with vanilla and coffee. Add the eggs to the creamed shortening and sugar. Beat to combine.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening-egg mixture and stir to combine.

5) Chop 1 bar hazelnut-chocolate into small chunks. Add the chocolate chunks and 2 cups of oats to the cookie dough. Fold to combine.

6) Scoop cookie dough with an ice cream scooper onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet (see right). Leave a few inches between each scoop.

7) Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes; turn the sheet, and bake for 5 more minutes.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the pan for a few minutes, then move them to a wire cooling rack.

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