Coffee and chocolate are two of my favorite things, so I was elated when I discovered that chocolate-chip maker Nestlé Toll House combined the two flavors to make their new product: espresso morsels.
I picked up several bags and got to work. The first thing I wanted to make was hot fudge. I’ve been missing hot fudge since I went dairy-free a few months ago (most commercial hot fudge is made with milk products).
I came up with my own version using coconut cream, coconut milk and the espresso chips. It was delicious drizzled over coffee sorbetto and topped with almond-milk whipped cream. The hot fudge coffee sundae was so good that after my kids snuck a bite they were shocked to learn it was a dairy-free creation.
Pumpkin muffins and coffee on a chilly fall morning are another combination I love, so the espresso chips seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine the two flavors.
I used white whole wheat flour instead of regular white flour to add a nutrition boost. I also substituted some of the sugar with honey and panela, an unrefined whole cane sugar.
Panela is often sold as a solid piece and you use a grater or Microplane to grate the amount you need. It has a rich, caramel-like flavor that added a decadent twist to the muffins.
Of course, a bag of chocolate chips usually means cookies, so I made a batch of double chocolate chip cookies with the espresso chips. They were moist and chewy and the chips added just enough coffee flavor without being too overwhelming.
These are my first experiments with the espresso chips; I can think of plenty more uses. Try substituting them for regular chocolate chips in a recipe.
Espresso Chip Pumpkin Muffins
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup grated panela (or brown sugar)
1 cup espresso chips
1 tablespoon coarse sanding sugar
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger to a large bowl and whisk together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, honey, butter and panela (or brown sugar). Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together until well combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Spray a jumbo muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and fill each tin about 3/4 of the way; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place the muffins in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned on the top and pull slightly away from the sides of the muffin tins. Remove from oven and cool in the muffin pan for 3 to 5 minutes; remove from tin and cool on a wire rack. Makes 6 jumbo muffins.
Espresso Hot Fudge
3/4 cup espresso chips
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut cream
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Add the coconut cream and chocolate chips to a saucepan and set over medium heat. When the chips and coconut cream start to melt, begin to whisk them together until smooth and creamy.
Whisk in the vanilla and coconut milk. Adjust the thickness of the sauce by adjusting the amount of coconut milk to suit your taste.
Remove from heat and drizzle immediately over ice cream. Store in a lidded jar or plastic container for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Espresso Chip Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 oz. package espresso chips
Add the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well to combine; fold in the chocolate chips.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop the cookie dough by the heaping spoonful onto the baking sheet. Set in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are just set.
Cool the cookies slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool fully.