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Trying out a new recipe: Half Baked Harvest’s Chocolate Chip Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Trying out a new recipe: Half Baked Harvest's Chocolate Chip Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Posted on September 23, 2022 Posted by Athena Scalzi

Athens ScalzicI made cookies! And if you couldn’t guess the title, they were oatmeal cookies. With chocolate chips. And espresso powder. And other stuff, but for some reason only those ingredients are included in the title.

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, Half Baked Harvest is one of my favorite food bloggers, so I was excited to try this cookie recipedespite not being a big fan of oatmeal cookies.

I actually had all the ingredients for these cookies on hand:

Ingredients laid out on a counter.  There is Domino brand light brown sugar, Kerrygold brand salted butter, Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate bar, two brown eggs, vanilla extract, King Arthur brand espresso powder, baking soda, flour, Quaker old fashioned oats, and Crown maple syrup.

Ingredients laid out on a counter.  There is Domino brand light brown sugar, Kerrygold brand salted butter, Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate bar, two brown eggs, vanilla extract, King Arthur brand espresso powder, baking soda, flour, Quaker old fashioned oats, and Crown maple syrup.

So my first mistake is in this ingredient photo. There is maple syrup in the photo, but there is no maple syrup in the cookies. There is maple syrup in the optional vanilla glaze that you can make with the cookies, but I forgot to make the glaze at all, so I never used the maple syrup pictured here. So pretend it’s not there, okay? Excellent.

Moving on, the first thing I did was brown the butter. One thing I love about Half Baked Harvest’s recipes is that she always asks for browned butter. If you are unfamiliar, brown butter is exactly where you take regular butter and heat it in a skillet to the point where the milk solids start to brown.

A blue frying pan on the stove, the contents of which are melted butter.  The milk components are separated from the liquid butter, so that the butter has a white layer.

A blue frying pan on the stove, the contents of which are melted butter.  The milk components are separated from the liquid butter, so that the butter has a white layer.

As you can see here, the milk solids separate from the liquid as soon as you melt the butter. The white stuff is the part that turns brown. In the end you will end up with what I like to call liquid gold:

A glass Pyrex bowl with melted brown butter.

A glass Pyrex bowl with melted brown butter.

Here’s what it looks like straight off the stove!

And here’s all the solid, browned goodness that makes browned butter so damn good:

The browned milk solids of the brown butter that are at the bottom of the glass bowl.

The browned milk solids of the brown butter that are at the bottom of the glass bowl.

So what’s the point of browning butter? Is it really necessary? Not really, you certainly don’t have to put in the extra effort, but it will add so much more depth and rich flavor to anything you bake! I promise you can really taste the difference. The best brand of butter I have found for tanning is Kerrygold. It browns like no other butter. I highly recommend using that brand if you know you will be browning butter for a recipe!

Anyway, I put all the browned butter in a mixing bowl and added the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and espresso powder. One thing I found interesting about this recipe was how much espresso powder is in it. Every time I’ve seen espresso powder in a recipe, it usually involves a teaspoon and is usually listed as optional. However, this recipe called for 2-4 tablespoons of the stuff. The amount between 2 and 4 tablespoons feels like a lot to me, so I went with 3 to keep it in the middle.

It made my batter DARK:

A white mixing bowl filled with dark brown liquid.

A white mixing bowl filled with dark brown liquid.

I thought the flour, oats, and baking soda would definitely lighten it up, and it did a bit:

A white mixing bowl filled with dark brown cookie dough.  A lot of oats can be seen in the dough.

A white mixing bowl filled with dark brown cookie dough.  A lot of oats can be seen in the dough.

For the final step, I added a 4 oz bar of semi-sweet chocolate and half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, both Ghirardelli brand.

A white mixing bowl filled with the final cookie dough shape.  Oats and tons of chocolate chips can be seen throughout the dough.

A white mixing bowl filled with the final cookie dough shape.  Oats and tons of chocolate chips can be seen throughout the dough.

Honestly, this dough was super easy and quick to put together. It took longer to brown the butter than to measure the ingredients and mix the dough. There was nothing too hard about this dough, no refrigerating too long, no beating eggs. It was all in one bowl, and all the super standard ingredients, and no stand mixer or even hand mixer required!

This dough is actually quite wet for a cookie dough, so I wouldn’t recommend working with it with your bare hands. I used a cookie dough scooper and scooped some onto a baking sheet. (The recipe says I should use parchment paper on my baking sheets, but I always use parchment paper anyway because my baking sheets are busty, crunchy, dusty, musty rusty.)

Twelve dark brown, oat-like, chocolatey thick cookie dough dollops, spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Twelve dark brown, oat-like, chocolatey thick cookie dough dollops, spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

At this point, they looked a lot like unbaked cookies to me.

I popped them in the oven for eight minutes, swung them around, and left them for another three minutes. And this is what I came up with:

A beautiful shot of perfectly baked oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips, nicely displayed with flowers around them.

A beautiful shot of perfectly baked oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips, nicely displayed with flowers around them.

Just kidding! That’s them supposed to look like (photo from Half Baked Harvest). This is what mine actually looked like:

The twelve cookies, now fully baked.  They are dark brown, irregularly shaped and look extra oat-like.

The twelve cookies, now fully baked.  They are dark brown, irregularly shaped and look extra oat-like.

Not quite twins, right? And if they’re twins, mine looks like the evil twins the parents hide in the attic, like that Simpsons episode of Treehouse of Horror.

Not sure what went wrong here, so I looked at the comments on her recipe. Apparently a lot of people had the same problem and complained that they came out much darker than hers. If I had to guess, I’d say the wild amount of espresso powder was the culprit. I bet the tablespoon reading was actually a typo, but didn’t see in the comments that it was a typo on her part, so maybe it isn’t. They are espresso cookies after all.

Ugly or not, I was still trying to get some glam shots:

I hold up one of the cookies.  It's dark brown, full of oats, and the chocolate chips are melty because they're still warm from the oven.

I hold up one of the cookies.  It's dark brown, full of oats, and the chocolate chips are melty because they're still warm from the oven.

A small black plate on the counter.  It has two cookies on it and I'm holding half a cookie so you can see the inside.  Next to the plate is a glass bottle of milk.

A small black plate on the counter.  It has two cookies on it and I'm holding half a cookie so you can see the inside.  Next to the plate is a glass bottle of milk.

Enough about the looks, what about the taste?! Well, they’re pretty nice. I mean, there’s chocolate in them, so they can’t be really bad, but they’re not superstars either. Though I’m biased because of the oats, so if you really like oatmeal cookies, you’d probably enjoy this one. At least not the worst thing I’ve ever made. I ended up with 24 of these bad guys, so if you want to make this but don’t want that many, I recommend cutting the recipe in half.

Do you like oatmeal cookies? Do you often bake your butter for baked goods? Would you give these cookies a try? Let me know in the comments and have a nice day!

(Also, in my last post someone asked me what the M in AMS stands for. I think this is the second time I’ve been asked, actually! It’s Marie.)

-AMS