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28 Dec 2020
Espresso Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies


for the dough

  • 255g salted butter, cold, cut into small pieces (or unsalted butter plus 3/4 tsp kosher salt, ish)
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 295g flour
  • 170g dark chocolate chunks (I usually use scharffen berger bittersweet)
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder (note that this is not the same as just espresso grinds) (optional, I guess? but it’s really good)

for rolling

  • 1 large egg
  • turbinado sugar (or demerara, or raw, something big and crunchy)
  • Flaky sea salt (we use Maldon)


  1. Beat the butter, regular and brown sugars, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

  2. Add flour, and mix just until combined.

  3. Add chocolate chunks and espresso powder, mix just until incorporated. (It’ll look crumbly. This is fine.)

  4. Split the dough into halves, and shape each half into a log about 2-2.25” in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill until totally firm, about 2 hours (overnight or even freezing is fine).

  5. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets.

  6. Lightly beat the egg (like, fork in a bowl, be chill). Set up some of the turbinado sugar in another bowl, this’ll get a bit messy.

  7. Working with your logs of dough one at a time: unwrap the dough (leaving the plastic wrap under it like a plate), brush egg all over the log, and sprinkle the crunchy turbinado sugar generously all over the egg-washed log. Rewrap the log briefly and roll it around, basically just to press the sugar in a bit and encourage more of it to really stick.

  8. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-inch thick rounds.

  9. Arrange cookie slices on the prepared baking sheets 1” apart (they don’t spread much) and sprinkle each with a few flakes of salt.

  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to get golden brown.


  1. Yeah these are basically the Alison Roman cookies, except I added espresso powder and always use dark brown sugar instead of light.

  2. I love storing these in my freezer and just eating them frozen.

  3. These are basically the perfect cookie.

06 Dec 2020
Meringue Cookies


Per egg white:

  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. Beat eggs to soft peaks.

  3. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat to stiff peaks.

  4. Fold in chocolate chips.

  5. Put lumps on a silpat-or-parchment-covered baking sheet.

  6. Put baking sheet in oven and TURN THE OVEN OFF.

  7. Leave in the oven overnight. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. You want the lingering heat to bake the cookies. Don’t check on them until morning.

  8. If something went weird and the cookies feel too sticky in the morning, just turn your oven on to its lowest setting for a bit until they dry out enough. This doesn’t come up often, but it occasionally has for me in older apartments with some ovens in some weather or who knows.

31 Jan 2007
Balsamic Fudge Drops


  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 2/3 C granulated sugar
  • 1/3 C dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 C low-fat plain yogurt (sour cream is an acceptable substitute here)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (see note)
  • Vanilla sugar (see note) and/or crunchy salt for dusting


  1. Preheat your oven to 350º.

  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together, and set aside.

  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it is all melted and sizzling, remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder, and then both sugars. And then the yogurt, vanilla, and balsamic vinegar. Once that is mixed together nicely, add the flour mixture and stir it just until it is fully incorporated, trying not to overmix.

  4. Measure out tablespoons of the dough about 1 1/2″ apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle vanilla sugar and/or a crunchy sea salt on top.

  5. Bake for about 11 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.

  6. When the cookies come out, they will look somewhat crackled on top, and terrifyingly soft. You will probably be convinced they are not yet done. Take them out anyway. Slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto a rack to cool – the cookies will harden as they cool, and then you will be able to remove them from the parchment paper.


  1. Adapted from Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate by Alice Medrich. (I added the vinegar.)

  2. I don’t buy expensive real balsamic vinegar. I buy several large bottles of inexpensive but tasty balsamic vinegar, pour them into a big pot, and simmer it all down until it is reduced to about 1/4-1/6 and is thick, syrupy, and coats the back of a spoon. Then I pour that back into one of the bottles and keep it in my pantry. This is a more economical and very tasty way to make do, and I highly recommend trying it out. Dave flees the room whenever I’m restocking our balsamic vinegar, though, because it makes his eyes sting as it simmers down, so be warned that you may want to open a window when you do it.

  3. Vanilla sugar can be made in two ways. You can fill a small container with sugar and a vanilla bean, seal it, and leave it alone for a few days. Or you can grind sugar together with a vanilla bean in your food processor or spice grinder, then sift it to remove any big chunks. Either way works just fine.

17 Dec 2006
Salty Oat Cookies


  • 3/4 C unsalted butter
  • 1 C packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 C rolled organic oats
  • 1/2 C raisins(or dried cranberries)
  • Kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F.

  2. Set the raisins in a bowl with just enough boiling water (or hot port, even) to cover and leave them to plump up while you put together the dough.

  3. In a stand mixer, whip the butter out of shape. Add the sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and beat together until the mixture is fairly homogenous. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour with the mixer at low speed and, scraping down the sides as necessary, mix just until it is fully incorporated.

  4. Drain the raisins, then add them to the dough along with the oats and mix until combined.

  5. Chill the dough for at least an hour before baking. The longer you chill the dough, the thicker and chewier these cookies end up, so if you have the patience to wait a few hours before baking, do.

  6. Set up a few baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Place heaping tablespoons of dough on the sheets, about 2″ apart.

  7. Sprinkle kosher salt on top of the cookies. Don’t be stingy – you want them to actually taste of salt, as an active presence rather than just a flavor enhancer. Sprinkle the salt on as you would sugar.

  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and done. Carefully transfer the still-soft cookies with a spatula onto racks to cool.


Teaism is a wonderful chain of cafes in DC, and I was obsessed with trying to recreate their Salty Oat Cookies for years until they posted their recipe. This is mostly theirs, just slightly tweaked to add more raisins and sometimes booze.

17 Mar 2006
Cocoa Nib Currant Rugelach


for the pastry

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
  • One 8 oz. package cream cheese (chilled and cut into pieces)

for the filling

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C roasted cocoa nibs
  • 1/2 C dried currants (soaked briefly in boiling water, and then drained and patted dry)


  1. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix.

  2. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are about the size of bread crumbs.

  3. Add the cream cheese and process until the dough begins to clump together, about 30 seconds. (I sometimes cheat and just make this in my stand mixer. Doesn’t seem to do any harm.)

  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and slam it to get out the air bubbles, then divide it into 4 pieces. Press each piece into a flat patty about 4″ in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. You can leave it in the fridge overnight if you like.

  5. When the dough has chilled and you’re ready to procede, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpat.

  6. Stir all filling ingredients together in a bowl.

Working with one dough patty at a time:

  1. Roll it out between two pieces of wax paper into a 12″ diameter circle that’s about 1/8″ thick (erring on the side of too thin). I find that it helps to peel the dough off the wax paper and flip it over from time to time when rolling it out.

  2. When it’s ready, peel off the top sheet of wax paper and place the paper on a counter or cutting board. Flip the dough onto the paper and peel off the second sheet (to loosen the dough’s attachment to the wax paper).

  3. Sprinkle a quarter of the filling over the dough. Place a fresh, non-sticky piece of wax paper over it, and gently roll over the filling with a rolling pin to press it into the dough. Remove the top layer of wax paper.

  4. Cut the dough into 12 equal wedges like a pie. Roll up each wedge, starting at the wide end and working towards the narrow point, and place them on the cookie sheets with the point underneath to keep it from unrolling. They don’t need to be too far apart, as they won’t expand much.

  5. Bake, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time, for about 25 minutes, or until light golden brown at the edges. Cool on wire racks.


From Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate by Alice Medrich.