I have decided to try both watermarking all of my photos and titling the occasional photo. I am not sure yet that I am sold on either–I would love to hear your opinion! Is the small watermark in the lower left corner distracting to you? What about the title across the top of the photo above? Part of me prefers food pics that stand on their own, with no embellishments. Part of me likes the branding that comes with a watermark, although I agree that it is questionable how much it deters copyright violations. As far as titling goes, there is some evidence to show that pictures are more likely to be pinned with a title. What do you think? Do you like the instant identification of the food? Does it make you more likely to pin the post (provided you are a Pinterest user in the first place)?
On to Chocolate Party! The theme this month is coffee, which I love, love, LOVE. With chocolate. With vanilla. In desserts. In mochas. Just not plain. (I am shuddering inside at the thought of that bitter water!) As much as I like traditional mochas, what I really like is white chocolate with coffee. Yes white chocolate is unctuously sweet–but bitter coffee is what cuts that unctuous sweet perfectly, creating a yummy marriage of flavors. And it really works in these cookies. The original recipe is from Joy the Baker and my tweaks are fairly minor, like subbing whole wheat flour and increasing the vanilla. My in laws happened to be visiting and all 3 of us swooned over these cookies. The kids were in bed and did not get any (before this writing) and John does not care for coffee flavored desserts.
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 T instant espresso powder
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 t pure vanilla extract
- 1 t ground vanilla beans (or substitute paste or more extract)
- 5 oz white chocolate chunks (I prefer to chop up a high quality white chocolate bar--I like Green & Black's)
- vanilla salt for topping the cookies
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat the butter until creamy, preferably in a stand mixer. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the espresso powder. Beat to incorporate. Add the sugars and beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat to incorporate. Add the vanilla extract and ground vanilla beans. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the white chocolate chunks, including any "shrapnel" from chopping the white chocolate, and mix just until evenly incorporated.
Cover the dough with wax paper, pressing down to create an airtight seal, and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days (for longer storage, also cover your bowl with an airtight lid or plastic wrap).
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat (if baking all of the cookies at once, line 2 cookie sheets, but I like to bake them off day by day). Scoop 2-3 tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, 6 cookies to a sheet. Bake for about 11-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. If you are baking 2 sheets at once, bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and rotate the sheets halfway through baking.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.
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