While true addiction is no joke, I think many of us can agree that in the grand scheme of things, a dependency on coffee ain't so bad. Granted, one can take it too far, but there's arguably nothing wrong with enjoying a steaming mug or two of the bitter brown stuff every morning.
I'm not the pickiest of coffee drinkers, though if I have my druthers, I like it strong and black. I certainly don't need expensive brands or the freshest of freshly-ground beans. What's important to me is that a)I get my money's worth, and b)the folks who deserve that money actually get it.
Have you heard of Puro? I hadn't. They're a coffee company whose number one concern is the threat to rainforest and the need to preserve it. Puro wants to show other companies that people and planet are just as important as profit. Take a gander at this video:
In addition to a morning cup of joe, I've also come to appreciate the way espresso and coffee bring out some of the amazing attributes of chocolate. These cookies are proof of that--just a dash of ground espresso dissolved in water changes your typical chocolate cookie entirely. The white chocolate chips are there for two fairly obvious reasons--they look pretty and taste wonderful.
All Kinds of Caffeine Cookies
From The All-American Cookie Book
Makes about 20 cookies
- 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, broken or coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or granules, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces top-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate and butter on 100-percent power for 1 minutes. Stir well. Continue microwaving on 50-percent power, stirring at 30-second intervals. Stop microwaving before the chocolate completely melts and let the residual heat finish the job. (Alternatively, in small, heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over lowest heat, stirring frequently; be very careful not to burn. Immediately remove from the heat.) Let cool to warm.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour and cocoa powder; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium then high speed, beat together the sugar, salt, eggs, espresso mixture, and vanilla for 2 to 3 minutes, or until well blended, slightly thick, and lightened. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture, then the flour mixture, until well blended. Stir in the white chocolate until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1½ hours, or until firm enough to shape.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into quarters. Divide each quarter into 5 or 6 equal pieces. Shape then into balls with lightly greased hands. Place on baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Pat down the balls just slightly.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for 9 to 12 minutes, or until barely firm when pressed in the centers. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway thought baking to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Slide the cookies, still attached to the parchment paper, onto a wire rack. Let stand until completely cooled. Carefully peel the cookies from the parchment.
*Disclaimer: Though Puro did send me some samples of their products, these opinions are entirely my own.