Salted Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies are thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies with a hint of espresso flavor. They’re finished with flaky sea salt fresh out of the oven to make these the most irresistible chocolate chip cookies ever!
As much as I’ve baked over the years, it’s surprising how daunting it is to me to bake a simple batch of chocolate chip cookies. So daunting, I have zero chocolate chip cookie recipes on the blog. That’s horrible! The truth is, I’ve spent so much time focusing on things that intimidate me like pie crust, meringues and cake rolls, that I’ve overlooked the basics. I’ve told you before that I don’t bake cookies much because of the unruly amount of temptation that they bring me, but that’s going to change, my friends. From here on out, I’m making cookie baking a priority, and I’ll give away most of them if I have to.
A few months ago during my marathon cookie baking project for a school luncheon, I made my Salted Caramel Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons, Lemon Burst Cookies, and basic chocolate chip cookies. I planned to post the chocolate chip cookies, but I just wasn’t completely happy with them. I’m a cookie perfectionist, and I wanted them just right. What’s just right? In my eyes, they should be thick and chewy without too much spread, and nice and crispy around the edges. While I loved the flavor, my first batch had a bit more spread than I liked. My second batch was too puffy and almost cake-like. I threw in the towel for the time being and put my chocolate chip cookies on the back burner to tackle another time.
So why did I wait until now? Well, I got home from my Seattle vacation Friday night and I needed to whip up some cookies for my cooking school class reunion lunch at my classmate’s home in Calistoga the next day. I was brainstorming what type of cookie to make to go with his creme fraiche ice cream and fruit. I though it was time to re-visit chocolate chip cookies, especially since my classmates and instructor would be the perfect bunch to give me honest criticism about them.
I decided to use 2 tablespoons less flour than the puffy version, which was exactly 2 tablespoons more flour than the first batch with a bit too much spread. Tell you what, 2 tablespoons made a huge difference, and I could tell just by looking at them that these cookies were just like Goldilocks’ porridge….just right. Crisp edges, minimum spread, and thick enough to make me happy. These were definitely worthy to serve my classmates.
Something I else I need to note in my quest for the “perfect cookie” was how long I chilled the dough. I made the dough Friday night and chilled it overnight in the fridge, pulled it out in the morning and let it sit out on the counter until it was scoop-able. I scooped the dough out quite large — about 1 1/2 tablespoons — and rolled them into balls by hand. I chilled them on the baking sheets for another 15-20 minutes before baking just to make sure. Cookies are temperamental little things, aren’t they? 😉
I think it’s time to get past the science behind cookie baking and discuss how they tasted. I didn’t even taste the cookies before I served them, because I knew the flavors were there from the first two batches. I did adjust the flavor a bit by adding extra espresso powder, and I tasted the dough. The espresso gave this cookie dough the best. flavor. ever. It isn’t too predominant once the cookie is baked, however — it’s just a mild undertone.
It’s no secret that I love salting my desserts, so adding some Maldon flaky sea salt to these cookies as they came out of the oven was no stretch for me. It totally put these cookies over the top, and I’m thrilled to finally have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I deem worthy here on the blog! Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most difficult…or is it just that I made this whole thing difficult? I think a little of both, but the important thing is it led to these cookies, and I’ll be making plenty more where these came from. And I hope you do, too.
- 2¼ cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- flaky sea salt for finishing (I used Maldon)
- Place the flour, espresso, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Place the butter, brown sugar, and sugar in medium bowl and cream at medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time on low speed until incorporated, then beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating on low just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and chill up to 2 hours or overnight.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Let the cookie dough sit out a bit until it's easier to scoop. Using a 1½" cookie scoop, scoop out 1½ tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Place on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Place back in the refrigerator to chill while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and the tops are just starting to brown, rotating the pans halfway through during the baking time. Sprinkle the cookies with the flaky sea salt immediately after they come out of the oven. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough, and enjoy!
To get room temperature eggs faster, place them in a bowl of very warm water for 10 minutes.
Total time above includes 2 hours of chilling time and 15 minutes of chilling time while the oven preheats. The more you chill the dough before baking, the better!
Baking time will vary, so start checking for doneness after 8 minutes. The cookies go from light brown to dark brown in a very short time, and the darker they are, the crispier they will be.
I baked one sheet of cookies at a time on the middle rack of the oven. If you bake two, place one in the lower third of the oven and one in the upper third, rotating them and switching racks halfway through cooking time.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.