Sometimes you just need something sweet, ya know? Not anything fancy, but something beyond a spoonful of sugar. Not a mile-high pie, or a triple layer cake. Not a fussy tort, or a multi-layered confection requiring a bank loan and a week’s worth of prep. Cookies. Simple. Crunchy. Homey. Fresh-baked. Mocha Almond Brickle Cookies. Yes!
Cookies are the kind of welcoming comfort food that everyone can get behind. Why do you think they stage open houses by baking a batch of chocolate chippers? They makes you feel at home. Instantly welcome. A part of the family. No-one can resist, right?
And lets be honest, it doesn’t take certification from Le Cordon Bleu to make a good batch of completely addictive, sweet crunchy wafers. The only question is, what kind of cookie are you jonesing for? On this day, it was something between 8-year-old-kid-sweet and grown-up sweet. Not full-on chocolate bombs, but that perfect crunchy-mocha-glazed treat that pairs equally well with a cup of coffee as with a glass of cold milk.
Maybe I’d jazz it up with a heaping cup of toffee-brickle chips. Why not? (Truth: during my pregnancy, many moons ago – I was on a first name basis with Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch – always a pint tucked in behind the frozen peas). But I digress.
For years, I’ve used the “drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls” eye-ball-it method of baking cookies, which always worked, but sometimes gave me uneven, misshapen and even half over-baked/half under-baked cookies. Even worse — the dreaded cookie-blob as each individual round melds into the sides of its neighbor. Finally, I got smart and bought one of these handy little mini ice cream scoopers.
It measures out the same amount of dough for every cookie giving them a uniform look. More importantly, it assures that the each cookie bakes in the same amount of time! No more watching like a hawk to take out the smaller, crisper ones first while the others continue to bake. Duh!
Now, you could just whip up this dough, bake the cookies and leave it at that, but I think we eat with our eyes and while I’d probably have the same hand-to-mouth tendency with a plain old mocha cookie, it needed a little embellishment. Sliced almonds and a bit of glaze added that little oomph I was looking for.
The hardest part is leaving the cookies alone long enough for the glaze to harden before stacking them in the cookie jar — not that I didn’t have a few immediately post-glaze. For quality control purposes.
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 cup brickle chips
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons half and half or milk
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt, whisk together and set aside.
- Place the chocolate in a small microwaveable bowl and microwave in 10-20 second increments, stirring after each until chocolate is melted. Add the espresso powder and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar and brown sugar and mix with an electric mixer until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the brickle chips.
- Scoop dough into rounded teaspoons and drop about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until done. Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Continue with the rest of the cookie dough.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and half and half, stirring until smooth.
- When the cookies have cooled to room temperature, drizzle the glaze over them and let stand until glaze hardens.
- Store in an airtight container.