This recipe actually comes from my grandmother. Her recipes are tried and true, and they have withstood the test of time. We live in an era when we have access to a plethora of recipes courtesy of food magazines, cookbooks, blogs, and google, yet we always come back to my mother's recipe collection (formerly my grandmother's) filled with handwritten recipe cards, and newspaper clippings glued to cards with delicate tape that has long since dried out, barely holding anything together.
Every recipe in my mother's recipe box has a hidden family story to tell. Take these chocolate drop cookies: chopped nuts are optional because my Auntie Liz isn't a fan of baked goods with nuts. Just like the banana bread recipe from my mother's recipe box does not take eggs: my mom's Uncle George was allergic to eggs. My mom's recipe box gives away little tidbits of our family history, and perusing through the recipe cards, our British roots are also quite obvious with recipes like plum pudding (which is actually a cake, not a pudding) served at Christmas time.
It's fun to look through these recipes, to read through the ingredients and the steps in each. Sometimes the measurements in my grandmother's recipes really make me laugh, like this recipe for chocolate drop cookies featured in the ingredients list: "butter, the size of a walnut." In a sense, one could say that a walnut is the perfect descriptor for the size of a nugget of butter. Is it easier to guesstimate the size of a walnut versus the size of a tablespoon or two?
Growing up, my mom always baked from her recipe box. And, while most kids ate store-bought Oreos, we had these homemade chocolate drop cookies. I later realized that many moms did not know how to bake (or couldn't find the time), and that's just sad. I was really lucky that my mom always baked for us. Time in the kitchen was familiar to us, as was following a recipe. I eventually grew up to appreciate the value of home-baked everything. There's really nothing like it.
These chocolate drop cookies aren't overly chocolaty, but they are just right to me. I grew up eating these cookies, and sometimes my mom would even sneak in a few chocolate chips for an extra hit of chocolate. These cookies are on the cake-y side, much like a whoopie pie, which makes sense if you look at the ingredients list. Growing up, we ate them plain, and we ate them frosted. The coffee frosting is really quite special and changes the cookie completely: this frosting transforms these seemingly simple chocolate cookies into something a little more decadent and fancy.
Chocolate drop cookies with coffee frostingPublished: December 2nd, 2013, Cook time: 10–12 minutes
Makes 36 cookies
Ingredients for chocolate drop cookies
- 115 grams (1/2 cup) Stirling unsalted butter
- 57 grams (2 oz) Cacao Barry Chocolate - Pure Origin - Mexique - 66%
- 200 grams (1 cup) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 173 grams (1 1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted
- 3 tsp Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder - Extra Brute
- 1 1/2 tbsp (size of a walnut) Stirling unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp hot coffee
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare 2 baking sheets, lining them with parchment paper.
- Melt the chocolate with the butter on medium in the microwave, stirring every minute or so until they are melted.
- Transfer these to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and add the brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then add the egg, and beat it in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt.
- Add half the flour mixture, and stir it in on low speed, scraping down the bowl as needed, then add the milk and vanilla, and stir it in, and finish the dough by stirring in the last of the flour mix. Let stand for 10 minutes to set (especially important if the butter/chocolate mix was very warm).
- Scoop the cookies onto the parchment-lined sheets, spacing them about an inch apart.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes. They will be puffy like whoopie pies.
- Let cool a couple minutes in the pan on a rack before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the scooping and baking with the remaining dough.
- When all the cookies are baked and cooled, make the frosting. Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl, then stir in the butter, working it in if you can. The mixture will be crumbly and dry.
- Add in the vanilla and hot coffee and whisk them in. The frosting should have the consistency of a glaze.
- Top each cookie with a generous dollop of frosting, spreading it with a small offset spatula. Let the frosting harden before storing.
I do my best to bake with the finest ingredients. Stirling Creamery, a Canadian company, has provided the butter for this post.