Baking's my favorite thing to do at the moment, and as I've been feeling under the weather the last two weeks or so, I've been craving a lot of citrus lately. I wanted something that was actually sour rather than just slightly-lemon flavored and sweet, so when I found Deb Perelman's adaptable "lemon yogurt anything" 2008 Smitten Kitchen recipe, I got really excited. I made the cake last Thursday, and I was pleasantly surprised with just how sour my take on the cake turned out to be after I upped the lemon quantities! Deb also made the cake with blueberries, and I stayed away because they would be too sweet (though I normally love blueberries!) and settled on mixed berries instead. Thankfully, I found a pack of frozen cranberries, raspberries, mulberries, and blueberries that /weren't/ sweetened, and they were perfect. (I actually prefer cooking with frozen berries because 1) they're more accessible in Switzerland, and 2) they don't break apart as easily when mixed into batter.)
Extra plus to this cake: it's made with yogurt and olive oil, so even my "I won't touch anything with butter" mother who hates when I bake because she has no sweet tooth... actually loved this cake and asked me to never bake anything else again.
My take on the recipe is below the cut. I loved it so much that when I came down with another but different bout of the flu this week, I made the cake again.
As I was preparing to spend my first Christmas with my boyfriend’s family, I made a long list of different things I could bake to take with me. I thought of cakes and cookies, but I didn’t know what to choose until Lee gave me her go-to recipe for making chocolate crinkle cookies (this classic Williams-Sonoma recipe). What could be better than soft, chocolatey cookies?
Nothing, it turns out, other than even chocolatier cookies with a caffeinated twist.
Give me any chocolate-based recipe, and I will find a way to either make it chocolatier or to liven it up with coffee. Sometimes, I’ll do both. I resisted temptation to modify the chocolate crinkle cookie recipe the first time I made them (which turned out to be a good thing as my boyfriend’s already energetic kid brother ate most of them), but I’ve tampered with the recipe every time I’ve made them since then. I’ve tried adding a shot of espresso and upping the quantities of all the dry ingredients (a tasty but still disappointing success). I’ve added espresso powder, and I’ve added Turkish coffee powder. Both turned out well, but, if you can get your hands on any, I’d definitely recommend going for the Turkish coffee. It adds a stronger flavor with less powder. If you can’t find any, then you can use 3 teaspoons of espresso powder or, if you really can’t find anything else, a tablespoon of instant coffee.
Once I had the coffee infusion down, I decided to change things even more by adding a couple of chocolate chips to the center of each cookie. It was a gooey success the very first time I tried them.
While I wouldn’t recommend giving these to a child, I definitely recommend keeping them around for yourself:
Coffee-Infused Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
(Makes 20-24 cookies)
Grease baking sheets or place one sheet of parchment paper over baking sheets.
Put the confectioner’s (icing) sugar in a bowl. Put the chocolate chips in another.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and coffee powder. Beat until blended.
Add flour mixture one cup at a time, blending well between each addition.
Using a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough. Place it in the palm of your other hand and add 3-6 chocolate chips (depending on size) into the centre. Roll into a ball. Roll in the confectioner’s sugar until covered. Place the ball on prepared cookie sheet, spacing the balls 3 inches or 8 centimeters apart.
(If for whatever reason the dough comes out too liquid to be rolled: Scoop up a rounded tablespoon of dough. Place directly on prepared cookie sheet. Place chocolate chips in center. Repeat until sheet is covered. Powder confectioner’s sugar over dough.)
Bake cookies 10-12 minutes until they are crackled and puffed. Remove and let cool. Repeat with rest of dough.
Hello & Welcome!
I'm Olivia, a twenty-six year old grad student studying in Switzerland. This is where I share my thoughts on the academic journey, culture, travels, baking, and my daily life abroad. Read More.