The morning fog is lingering just a bit longer these days. When I stepped out for a late morning jog cloud cover kept me cool for the entire 6-mile loop when normally the shade-less route would have had me sweating by the end of Mile 1. Out of the blue the other night, lightning flashed followed by loud grumbling from the sky. It’s time to pull the sweaters and heavier scarves out of storage. Autumn is here…
…and I’m happy for its arrival.
As much as I love warm weather, I quite enjoy this time of the year, too. Soon, the temperatures will be low enough to warrant the use of the fireplace and heartier fare will be simmering on the stove. I expect I’ll be baking more, too. Pies and tarts are high on my list this year but I’ll make time for cookies, too. On a cold, rainy afternoon I can’t imagine anything better than being curled up next to the fireplace with a pot of tea, a plate of cookies and a good book.
So it only threatened to rain today; at best it drizzled for a few minutes. It wasn’t quite cold enough to start piling up the firewood…but there was no reason to deny myself the cookies, tea and book. Just call it a head start on the new season.
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 3 tablespoons boiling water
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon water
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Dissolve the cocoa powder and espresso powder in the boiling water in a small bowl.
- Using a hand mixer (original recipe calls for using a stand mixer with paddle attachment but the hand mixer worked, too), beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until the mixture is creamy. Mix in the vanilla and salt then, reducing the mixer's speed, mix in the egg followed by the cocoa mixture. Add the flour in small batches and continue to mix until a smooth dough forms. Since I used a hand mixer here, I used my hands to press the dough together.
- Turn the dough out on a piece of plastic wrap and pat into a square. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Divide the chilled dough into 24 pieces and form into balls. Using a flat-bottomed glass, press each ball into a disk and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets).
- Combine the egg yolk and water and brush the tops of the disks. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The original recipe called for baking these for 35 minutes but I think that's too long. Watch the cookies at the 20 minute mark. If they're dry, they're done.
- Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before serving. May be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.