When Adam and I first got together I told him that I didn’t want him to bring me flowers on special occasions. I didn’t want the obligatory flowers on Valentine’s Day, or any other retail holiday, for that matter. I wanted him to bring me flowers when he was overwhelmed with a wave of inspiration or romance, not because the calendar and commercials on TV said it was time. So, of course, in our more than three years together he’s brought me flowers only once, and that was because his mom had just harvested some peonies from her garden (oh, I can’t wait for peony season this year!) and she sent some home with him.
Buying flowers is something that just doesn’t occur to Adam, but picking up my favorite fruit tart for no occasion at all, does occur to him. Or running around town helping me find the perfect props for a job when I’m in a state of unbelievable stress and the only thing going through my head is chaos and he is the only calm in my world, well, that’s the sort of thing he does.
Cooking for Adam, sitting at the table sipping wine and conversing about the world is my idea of a perfect romantic evening. Long walks around town talking of books and art, doesn’t get much more romantic than that. Lounging in our overstuffed chair reading while he plays piano for no one in particular? Sublime. Sitting in bed watching movies in our jammies- bliss.
So, no, I don’t need (nor want) Adam wandering the red and pink card aisle of Freddie’s looking for that “perfect” card. I don’t want him elbow to elbow with other men picking out roses or tulips. I want the long walks, the afternoons in bookstores and antique stores, the late night conversations, the constant, and I mean constant support (ok, tearing up now), the calm, old soul wisdom that is well beyond his years.
And the occasional fruit tart.
After making these cookies, there are a few things I would change about this recipe to make it much better. Adam really liked them, but I didn’t feel they were good enough to share.
I will give you the link to the original recipe to consider your own inspirations, however. It is not a bad recipe, by any means, just needs a bit more to make it interesting and delicious in my book. For example, I really wanted these cookies to be more chocolaty. Next time, I will stir in whole chocolate chunks or chips to the batter to offer a burst of chocolate with each bite.
Adapted from Gourmet or Gourmand
What you’ll need~
3 oz, or more, bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Chocolove Extra Strong Dark, 77%)
1 1/2 cups spelt flour or all-purpose
3/4-teaspoon baking powder
1/4-teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick of butter at room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar (when I make this recipe again, I intend to increase the sugar by 1/4 or add brown sugar)
1-3 eggs, depending on the size of your eggs. Mine were tiny.
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons instant espresso dissolved in a tablespoon of water (I used Medaglia D’Oro)
Coarse espresso salt to finish, optional
Combine cocoa, chopped chocolate and 1/4 cup of flour in your food processor and process until the chocolate is a fine powder. I didn’t process it quite that long as I wanted bits of chocolate in the batter.
Add the remaining 1 1/4 cup flour, baking soda and salt and pulse to blend.
In a large mixing bowl add butter breaking it apart in to small chunks with your fingers (that really is as wonderful as it sounds). Stir in sugar and cream together. Beat in egg(s), vanilla and espresso. Add flour mixture and stir well.
At this point you want to chill your dough. The original recipe calls for shaping it into a disc and wrapping in plastic wrap. I left the dough in a ball in the bowl and popped in the fridge for about an hour. I think this dough would have responded better with a longer, or even overnight, chill time, but it rolled out just fine. You may have to experiment to see what works for you. If your dough is sticky, add a bit of flour to it and re-chill.
Preheat your oven to 325 a line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface. A trick I learned from Kim Boyce is to use rice flour to flour your surfaces. Rice flour won’t incorporate itself into your dough and thus altering the consistency. Pretty neat, huh?
I felt these cookies were best rolled out a bit on the thick side. The espresso and chocolate flavors didn’t really sing with the thinner, crispier batch.
Using the cookie cutter of your choice cut out your shapes and gently lay them on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with espresso salt, if using, and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes rotating half way through.
I really think these cookies are meant for dipping, so be sure to serve these with the milky beverage of your choice.