A Sip of Inspiration

A Sip of Inspiration

Coffee and Cookies

Sitting in the fancy, plush, faux alligator skin chair, I stared down into what would be my first real cup of coffee. Steaming up out of it’s immaculate cup, the aroma tempted me as I pondered if this would be true love or sips of discontent. This was the best coffee I would ever drink, I had been told. The beans had been chosen from all over the world and treated with techniques and temperatures as if they were gold. Every element, from the triple filtered water down to the Japanese porcelain cup, had been thought about. Still, I had my doubts.

I had never been a coffee drinker. Growing up in Germany, family vacations were often visiting the coffee capital of the world, Italia. As my younger sister, barely a preteenager, threw back more espresso and cappuccino then even the most ardent adult coffee drinker would comfortably consume, I snubbed my adolescent nose at the beverage. Even in college, when coffee was the drink of choice to soothe harsh hang overs and pull fellow students through early morning classes, I stuck with other drinks.

And then one night, during a long road trip that began after working a busy evening shift, things changed in my coffee world. Sleepy eyes were drawn by the harsh glowing lights of a small highway gas station, and suddenly an English toffee latte was exactly what I needed. Sipping the overtly sweet and over flavored beverage, I spent the remaining driving hours not only wide awake but also realizing, that I might in fact, like coffee. Coffee has been consumed since the 9th century. Now in the 23rd, I would finally catch up with the trend.

Coffee shops became a thing of excitement. Hours of walking around were rewarded with a vanilla latte. A long day of errands ended sweetly with a mocha with skim milk. Of course straight coffee was out of the question. I had after all started this coffee attraction with an English toffee latte, created with more sugar and flavoring agents then coffee flavor. I needed the sweetness.

Then came the fateful day when I was introduced to my first cup. Sitting in LaMill Coffee Boutique, the new bistro where I would help recreate pastry chef Adrian Vasquez’s desserts, I looked down into the steaming cup of wonder my new bosses placed before me. No sugar, no flavoring powders or mixes, this was the real deal coffee. With one quick movement, I brought the cup to my lips and sipped. This coffee, I realized, I enjoyed quite a lot.

A few days later the coffee boutique opened it’s doors to the public, and this special coffee was unleashed to the world, of Silverlake Boulevard at least. Tucked back in the kitchen, waifs of the coffee aroma filled my pastry space as customers ordered Clover cups brewed to order. Coffee was on my mind as I plated desserts, as I watched barista’s artfully pour steamed milk into cups, and as I sipped lattes after my shifts. Coffee was now everywhere around me.

And so it came down to a new coffee creation. Some espresso added to a chocolate cookie recipe I wanted to try did the trick. A fudgey, rich cookie, these sweets take on a roasted flavor from the espresso and a floral hint from orange zest and juice. The first of many coffee inspirations, my new attraction to coffee is a welcome addition, not only as a beverage but also for recipes alla coffee.

Chocolate Orange Coffee Crackles(revised version of Bon Appetit’s Midnight Crackles)

260 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
235 grams brown sugar
300 grams 64% chocolate
200 grams freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
Zest from 2 oranges
100 grams freshly made espresso(get this from local coffee shop like LaMill)

3 large eggs
450 grams All Purpose flour
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pot, melt butter, sugar and chocolate over low heat until just melted through completely.

2. Pour mixture into bowl of standing mixture with paddle attachment.

3. On low speed, slowly add the espresso, orange juice and eggs until completely combined.

4. Triple sift the dry ingredients together. Slowly add to the batter and mix just until combined.

5. Pour batter onto plastic wrap and cover into ball. The batter will be very wet. Refrigerate at least two hours.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from the fridge and roll into 1″ balls. Place on parchment lined sheet tray and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the tray and continue to bake for 8 minutes. Cool and enjoy.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Jean Min said,

    you are the best.
    love the blogs.. i totally want to try the chocolate orange coffee crackle!

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