“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.” – 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Whenever my mother takes a bite of anything chocolatey and it exceeds her expectations, whether a cake, pie or cookie, she invariably sniffs with suspicion, raises her brow and accusingly asks, “Does that have coffee in it?” She insists the finest chocolate desserts often have a touch of coffee or espresso hidden in the recipe.
While I do not fully agree on this requirement to achieve a successful chocolate dessert, I do acknowledge its power to fortify and revitalize a chocolate identity. Take the espresso or coffee challenge and see what adding a pinch (or more) of instant powder will do for your next chocolate dessert. It will move your milk chocolate dessert from the children’s table to the adult table, for reasons beyond its caffeine presence.
With “Identity” as the Sacred Story theme this month, the recipe for “Chocolate Shot Cookies” strangely prompted me to ask myself probing questions. First, “What is my secret ingredient?” Rather, “Who is my secret ingredient?” “When people meet me, do they sniff out an aroma that brings life?” “Am I growing stronger in my calling as a daughter, redeemed by Christ, to be who God created me to be?” “Am I lifted up and encouraged in spite of my own brokenness and the brokenness in the world around me?” “Am I playing a revitalizing role in my family, my neighbors, and my community?”
This chocolate recipe and others like it containing a “shot” of espresso point to a greater hope: the power of Christ in us.
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
12 ounces chocolate chips (I prefer bittersweet but semi-sweet is fine)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Then, add eggs one at time, mixing after each addition to make sure they are well combined.
- In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. I use a whisk to make sure the dry ingredients are well mixed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix everything until the ingredients are fully combined, but do not overbeat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1 1/2″ ice-cream scoop, or rounded teaspoon, place dough on the sheet about 2″ apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and serve. (If you make your dough scoops larger, adjust baking time)
Makes about 5 dozen cookies. Enjoy!