It’s been skipping about the high 90 temps for the last few weeks; we’re all hoping it’s that last great blast of summer. Thinking about getting some of the inside Halloween décor out, but before its even fall? My mountain location gets fall and I really want it now. Feels too strange, so haven’t cracked those décor boxes open yet.
Then, as I’m marvelous at meeting deadlines and do intend to write about recipes here, I decided I’d sign up for April’s Attic Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies and I need to get BAKING today. But, hey – it’s dipped to the mid 90’s and might hit the 80’s this week; my air conditioner can handle the oven warming up the house (not exactly good green thinking, but I’ve got a blog deadline 🙂 ).
Nevertheless, I have two types of recipes I create for the holidays. There are the really fast “been way too busy with work”; “stayed up too late reading a book or finishing Christmas presents”; and “I’m just too dang tired” easy recipes. Then there are the “messes up the entire kitchen, takes a day to make and another half day to clean up after” recipes. Guess what I’m going for in this heat?
You might find this hard to believe as my first recipe of the 12 is starting with a mix, but I do have a rather discriminating palate. I would never have believed cookies from a mix could taste this good, having relegated most mixes to the category of “you can taste the graininess of the sugar since the recipe doesn’t make you cream butter and sugar”. If you are also a “must be completely homemade, never a mix” snob – try these cookies. You’ll be pleasantly astounded. I know I was. Last Christmas this recipe became a staple of family on the other side of the country (we have a family Facebook where we consistently tempt one another off diets) and friends and family here who know of my mix snobbiness and were delighted to find I’d uncovered something they too might whip up one day.
This recipe is a variation of Betty Crocker’s Mocha Toffee Chocolate Cookies.
Best Ever Easy Chocolate Mocha Cookie
Oven 350. Have cookie sheets and parchment paper ready. I use a 3TBL scoop to measure as I like bigger “bakery style” cookies. Original recipe called for “rounded teaspoons”.
In a medium bowl mix:
4 tsp instant espresso coffee (dry)
4 tsp vanilla
Until coffee is dissolved.
1/2C vegetable oil
Beat with fork to blend eggs.
Add one good quality chocolate cake mix (today I used Devil’s Food Moist cake mix by Betty Crocker, if Duncan Hines is on sale – that’d be the one. I just wouldn’t go for German chocolate as I like the deepness of the chocolate flavor the dark cake mix brings).
The batter should be shiny and hold together. On occasion I’ve had to add a TBL or 2 of water. The first time I made this I broke the spatula I was using – now I use a strong fork.
1C semisweet chocolate chips (I use regular size)
1/2C plus chopped walnuts (I don’t quite add 3/4C but do add more than 1/2C)
Mix. Use scoop to drop same size balls of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Flatten a tad.
Bake 11 to 13 minutes. Wait 5 minutes then slide parchment paper with cookies onto cooling racks and cool at least 15 more minutes. They are very moist inside. You can easily bake only part of this recipe and refrigerate the remaining. I wrap the dough tightly in plastic and put it in a tightly sealing plastic container (a la Tupperware) and refrigerate. I do bring the dough to room temperature before scooping and baking.