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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

Athena ScalziI made cookies! And if you couldn’t guess from 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.

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

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

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

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

So my first mistake can be found in this ingredients photo. There’s maple syrup in the photo, but there is no maple syrup in the cookies. There is maple syrup in the optional vanilla glaze you can make to go with the cookies, but I forgot to make the glaze entirely so at no point did I use the maple syrup pictured here. So just pretend like it’s not there, okay? Great.

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 calls for browned butter. If you aren’t familiar, brown butter is just where you take regular butter and heat it up in a skillet to the point that the milk solids begin to brown.

A blue skillet on the stove, the contents of which is melted butter. The milk solids have separated from the liquid butter, making the butter have a layer of white on top.

A blue skillet on the stove, the contents of which is melted butter. The milk solids have separated from the liquid butter, making the butter have a layer of white on top.

As you can see here, once you melt the butter, the milk solids separate from the liquid. The white stuff is the part that browns. Eventually, you’ll end up with what I like to call liquid gold:

A glass Pyrex bowl of melted brown butter.

A glass Pyrex bowl of melted brown butter.

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

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

The browned milk solids from the brown butter sitting in the bottom of the glass bowl.

The browned milk solids from the brown butter sitting in the bottom of the glass bowl.

So what’s the point of browning butter? Is it really necessary? Not really, you definitely don’t have to go through the extra effort, but it adds so much more depth and rich flavor to whatever you’re baking! I promise you can really taste the difference. The best butter brand I’ve found for browning is Kerrygold. It browns unlike any other butter. I highly recommend using that brand if you know you’re going to be browning butter for a recipe!

Anyways, 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’s usually only about a teaspoon, and usually it’s listed as optional. This recipe, however, 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 just 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 surely the flour, oats, and baking soda would lighten it up, and it did a little:

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

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

For the final step, I added one 4oz 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 form of cookie dough. Oats and tons of chocolate chunks can be seen throughout the dough.

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

Honestly, this dough was super easy and quick to throw together. It took longer to brown the butter than it did to measure out the ingredients and mix the dough together. There was nothing too difficult about this dough, no chilling, no whipping eggs for long periods of time. It was all in one bowl, and all super standard ingredients, and no stand mixer or even hand mixer required!

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

Twelve dark brown, oaty, chocolatey chunky cookie dough dollops spread apart evenly om a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Twelve dark brown, oaty, chocolatey chunky cookie dough dollops spread apart evenly om a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

At this point in time, they looked a lot like no-bake cookies to me.

I threw them in the oven for eight minutes, rotated them, and let them go for another three minutes. And this is what I ended up with:

A beautiful photo of perfectly baked chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies, displayed nicely with flowers all around them.

A beautiful photo of perfectly baked chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies, displayed nicely with flowers all around them.

Just kidding! That’s what they’re 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, wonkily shaped, and look extra oaty.

The twelve cookies, now fully baked. They are dark brown, wonkily shaped, and look extra oaty.

Not quite twins, are they? And if they are twins, mine look like the evil twin the parents hide in the attic, like that Simpsons episode of Treehouse of Horror.

I’m not sure what went wrong here, so I looked to the comments on her recipe. Apparently tons of people had the same problem, and complained about them coming out way darker than hers. If I had to guess, I’d say the wild amount of espresso powder was the culprit. I was willing to bet it that the tablespoon measurement was actually a typo, but saw no mention of it being a typo from her in the comments, so maybe it isn’t. They are espresso cookies, after all.

Ugly or not, I still tried to get a glamour shot or two of them:

Me holding up one of the cookies. It's dark brown, full of oats, and the chocolate chips are melty, as they are still warm from the oven.

Me holding up one of the cookies. It's dark brown, full of oats, and the chocolate chips are melty, as they are still warm from the oven.

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

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

Enough about the looks, how about the taste?! Well, they’re pretty decent. I mean, they have chocolate in them so they can’t really be bad, but they’re not super stellar either. Though I am biased because of the oats, so if you actually like oatmeal cookies you’d probably enjoy these. Not the worst thing I’ve ever made, at the very least. I ended up with 24 of these bad boys, so if you want to make this, but don’t want so many to come from it, I’d recommend halving the recipe.

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

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

-AMS