The thinking person’s caramel-mocha-cookie-bites?

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What makes a cookie intellectual? Can cookies be anything other than pop culture, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I’m talking about the original Buffy here)? And if Dorie Greenspan describes a cookie as a thinking person’s cookie, does that mean it’s like the cookie equivalent of the thinking person’s sex symbol?

(A Google search for that phrase brings up Kevin Spacey, and I dunno about biting into a cookie that reminds me of Kevin Spacey. Time to move on.)

What, then, makes a recipe a thinking person’s recipe? Creativity? Unexpected use of flavours (or textures) that make you stop and think twice? Cos that was my reaction to the combination of coffee, apricot and chocolate in this recipe. Really? Coffee…and… apricot?

Or is the emphasis on the thinking person knowing how to save a cookie dough that was turning into molten lava?

Because that’s what happened to my cookie dough on Monday night. I had tried to convert the recipe from US measurements into metric/Aussie, and halved the recipe, and added wholegrain flour. Somewhere along the way, I must have stuffed up the ratios, because the first batch of cookie dough became a caramelised, quite delicious smelling, flat, browned, slightly burned (which accentuated the caramel mocha smell) sheet. A sheet of cookies, on my baking sheet.

It looked like a lace cookie gone rogue. On steroids.

But the smell – !

The kitchen smelled divine. There was that combination of coffee, dark caramel, and mysterious dark chocolate. The outer parts of the cookie dough sheet, in particular, had caramelised to a dark brown, lacey edge. Then there were bites of apricots – they were still moist, soft, with a burst of tangy something that cut through and lingered.

It was probably mildly carcinogenic (as near-burnt foods are), but I thought it was tasty.

I rationalised that the only thing standing between me and molten caramelised mocha chewy bites is said molten chewy bites’ tendency to spread. Contain the spreading lava and the rest would be all good.

The dough went into cupcake pans and even mini cupcake pans, 2 teaspoons at a time. After about 6-7 minutes, they were out of the oven and filling the kitchen with that freshly baked sweet smell. And that’s how we got the small-as-they-are-cute mocha bites. The edges of the mocha bites became delicately crispy, and lacey (like a lace cookie). The texture is fudgy, melt on the tongue chocolate-mocha giving way to chewy apricot. It’s as though you just mastered that elusive art of crunchy-chewy-fudgy cookies, but without the years of practise.

Just call it chewy mocha bites, and they’ll never know.

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Did I think these are thinking person’s cookies? Maybe. The coffee flavour was more like a sweet iced coffee than an intense espresso. More Alain de Botton pop philosophy than Baudrillard’s revelations on simulacra. But then, some days you want easily likeable, especially when it comes with unexpected bits of apricot. 

I think, therefore I eat caramelised-mocha-bites.

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The recipe: The recipe is available on page 330 of Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. It’s also available on Peggy’s blog Galettista.

To see what other TWD bakers have done (many of them actually got cookies!), go to the Tuesdays with Dorie blog.

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25 thoughts on “The thinking person’s caramel-mocha-cookie-bites?

  1. Ckay 20 March 2013 at 1:36 am Reply

    Everything caramelised has a special place in my heart!
    Congratulations on your new recipe. Hope you’ll be able to replicate as it looks sooo yummy!
    If we only knew how many delicatesses were “born by mistake” (one of them is the well known Tarte Tatin)…
    PS: lovely post ❤

    • saucygander 24 March 2013 at 9:02 pm Reply

      Thanks, I’m not sure I’ll be able to replicate it, but who knows what else I’ll discover along the way? 🙂

  2. Jessica of My Baking Heart 20 March 2013 at 4:49 am Reply

    Love these! 🙂

  3. yummychunklet 20 March 2013 at 6:11 am Reply

    I like the lace cookie gone rogue description!

  4. Cathleen 20 March 2013 at 7:15 am Reply

    Loved your post! I think your “bites” are great. Love the look (and Kevin Spacey)! Great save. 🙂

  5. Tasha @ Homemade 20 March 2013 at 7:28 am Reply

    lol … they look delicious all the same!!!

  6. galettista 20 March 2013 at 11:07 am Reply

    Great idea to bake these in muffin tins.

  7. Great save — they look good enough to eat! 🙂

  8. TheKitchenLioness 20 March 2013 at 7:02 pm Reply

    Love your little Caramel-Mocha-Cookies-Bites with their cute look and catchy name! It is nice to see and read that most bakers did enjoy the wonderful taste and smell of these cookies so much! I think that this was a lovely recipe – how nice that you are so very creative!
    Have a wonderful Wednesday

  9. bakeawaywithme.com 20 March 2013 at 10:06 pm Reply

    I loved your description of these…”a lace cookie gone rogue. On steroids.” They sound delicious to me! Nice save!

  10. Monica 20 March 2013 at 11:41 pm Reply

    I think they look rather neat! I love the lacy cookie look!

  11. SandraM 20 March 2013 at 11:44 pm Reply

    Great post. I really enjoyed it. And I love the look of your new hybrid cookie!! They sound yummy.

  12. Monica & Steve Heidler 21 March 2013 at 3:06 am Reply

    They are wonderful, aren’t they? How clever to put these in muffin tins. They look amazing & elegant!

  13. Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories 21 March 2013 at 6:47 am Reply

    I’ll never tell! They sound just delicious regardless. Fudgy? Yum.

  14. thatskinnychickcanbake 21 March 2013 at 12:17 pm Reply

    Too funny…a lace cookie gone rouge! You’ve invented a whole new cookie!

    • saucygander 24 March 2013 at 9:00 pm Reply

      Haha! A strange cousin three times removed from Rick Katz’s original, maybe!

  15. gfcelebration 21 March 2013 at 2:13 pm Reply

    You made us laugh – containment is half the battle with this particular recipe. Great idea, using a muffin tin. Yours turned out looking beautiful.

    • saucygander 24 March 2013 at 8:58 pm Reply

      Thank you! Some of our favourite baked goods have come from the most unlikely sources/incidents…

  16. Elaine 21 March 2013 at 4:11 pm Reply

    Oh, what a great save! I love the look of your little mocha bites! I hope to try them next time with bits of apricot.

  17. Beth 22 March 2013 at 5:06 am Reply

    Clever save turning them into your bites! I enjoyed reading your post as your descriptions made reading about baking cookies very fun!

    • saucygander 24 March 2013 at 8:57 pm Reply

      Glad you liked this post, it turned from panic to fun in the end. Much like life, really.

  18. Cathy B 22 March 2013 at 8:02 am Reply

    Great idea about the pan. I’m not sure why some people’s dough flattened.

  19. jora 23 March 2013 at 2:09 am Reply

    Yours are so pretty! I really admire your ingenuity. I tend to just panic when things don’t go as planned. Glad you enjoyed these!

  20. kevnkoi 23 March 2013 at 1:46 pm Reply

    What a smart way to save cookies from spreading! Katrina, Baking and Boys!

  21. deliciousonadollar 26 March 2013 at 2:22 am Reply

    Many thanks for visiting my blog and liking my post on Hot Cross Buns. Your recipe for the chewy bites has got my mouth watering–I love appricots and chocolate–I must make them ASAP.

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