Pantry Decimation Challenge 2012: Espresso-White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve had the dregs of a bag of vegan white chocolate chips languishing in my pantry since Christmas, when I made S a big ol’ batch of chocolate peppermint bark. The thing is, I’m not really a fan of white chocolate. First of all, it’s terribly named – white chocolate contains no cocoa, therefore it is not chocolate. Second, it doesn’t taste like anything except generic sweetness. Do not want.

However, I will admit that white chocolate chips have their place…  and that place is in cookies where they can play second fiddle to their more legitimately named cousin – actual chocolate.

In the foreground, three chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. In the background, a container of instant espresso powder, a glass of soymilk, and a stack of more cookies.

They also offer a nice color contrast!

Okay, okay – I might be showing my bias by saying that they play second fiddle, because the white chocolate chips in these cookies are really a perfect complement to the other flavors going on here – namely, espresso and actual chocolate. The chips are a creamy, sweet – dare I say perfectly fitting? – addition to a complexly flavored cookie. I suppose that in this orchestra of ingredients, they can share the first fiddle seat with the cocoa powder in this recipe. Hmph.

Perhaps you, too, share my general distaste for white chocolate and find yourself with leftover white chocolate chips waiting for their chance to shine. If so, might I suggest making a batch of these cookies? They’re really tasty, despite the white chocolate. Okay, okay – because of the white chocolate. Hmph.

Espresso-White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes nine good-sized cookies

Ingredients

1 C spelt flour (all-purpose would work fine)
1/3 C high-quality cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/3 C brown sugar
2 T vegan sugar
1/4 C vegetable oil
3 T nondairy milk
1 T instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp blackstrap or regular molasses (optional)
1/3 C white chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 350˚ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (spelt flour through sea salt) and stir them a couple of times. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, add the sugars, molasses, and oil and mix until the sugars are moistened. Add the remaining ingredients except for the white chocolate chips and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and incorporate. The dough will be a bit sandy and might seem resistant to coming together, but work at it for a bit until you get a large ball. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Form dough into balls of about two tablespoons and flatten them slightly when your hands. Keep them an inch or so apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until they just yield to the touch. Remove from oven, let them cool for a minute or two, and then transfer to baking rack (or just slide the parchment paper onto the counter if you’re lazy like me!). Enjoy!

A stack of five chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. In the background, a container of instant espresso powder and a glass of soymilk.

Helllooooo, cookies.

And with that photo, I’ll take my leave.

PANTRY DECIMATION TALLY:

  • Spelt flour: The majority of a bag (just a few tablespoons left!)
  • Cocoa: Finished a container (though I still have separate from the co-op…)
  • White chocolate chips: Finished the bag!
  • Frozen broccoli: Finished the bag (not in this recipe!)
  • Long-grain brown rice: Decimated my stash (same comment!)
  • Short-grain brown rice: Decimated my stash (same comment!)

Do you enjoy white chocolate? What’s your favorite cookie combination?

Pantry Decimation Challenge 2012: Commence!

In my opinion, moving is one of the most stressful situations we mature adults have to deal with (y’know, aside from things like illness and losing your job and, um, important stuff). First you need to shove everything you own into countless boxes, then you have to load all of those boxes into a truck or your car or lots of people’s cars, and then you have to remove all of those boxes that you JUST LOADED and put them in your new place. There’s lots of heavy lifting and strained arms and realizations of your sad state of strength. And when your finally get all those boxes into your new place, you’re exhausted and sweaty and sore and irritated and all you want to do is kick your feet up, mix yourself up a big-girl drink, and watch a stupid, mindless movie. BUT YOU CAN’T, because everything you own is IN THE DAMN BOXES, and you have to unpack them all first! It’s the worst. I hate it. It stresses me out.

…in case you’re abnormally slow to infer things, I’m moving.

I briefly mentioned my moving plans a few weeks ago, but now it’s a month away and I’m entering into moving!panic mode. See, I’ve moved before, but this is the first time I’m moving when I own real furniture, like a couch and a bed and crap like that. I’m only moving one town over, but it might as well be a state over – the amount of work involved is pretty much the same.

View into a small storage space, which is filled with boxes haphazardly thrown everywhere.

…at least I’ve got ample boxes for packing! Clearly I’ve been putting my storage space to good use. :-\

It doesn’t help that I will essentially be homeless for 24 hours during the move. I need to be out of my current place by noon on a Saturday, but I can’t move into my new place until noon Sunday. Our new place, I should say – S and I are becoming grown-ups and moving in together. Hooray! Not hooray that he’s in the exact same situation and will also be homeless for a day. Alas. At least we will be homeless together.

Two suitcases and three boxes, along with a small dog.

Yes, I have already started packing. Winter clothes and books are ready to go!

I think we’ve got our homeless plans mostly figured out (yay for friends), but I don’t have a good solution for storing our perishable foodstuffs during that homeless period, which means that I must use up all my frozen and refrigerated goods before we move. And that is why I am designating June as my official Pantry Decimation Month! I will attempt to use up as much food as possible, to reduce having to cart around boxes of 8,474 types of rice and also to avoid wasting refrigerated goods that I’d have to get rid of.

This weekend I kicked off my challenge by burning through some frozen veggies with Happy Herbivore’s Biscuit Pot Pie. I used frozen broccoli, frozen peas, and – most notably – some frozen green beans that are probably two years old. I am very wary of freezer burn (I have very finely tuned senses when it comes to that particular smell/taste), but by rinsing the beans in water to remove their thin coat of ice crystals, I somehow managed to avoid it. The pot pie was not as good as the last time I made it (when we used a bag of mixed frozen veggies), but it was still yummy. It was not, however, very pretty, so you don’t get a picture. Instead, how about a tally of my pantry decimation thus far?

PANTRY DECIMATION TALLY:

  • Frozen peas: Used half a bag.
  • Frozen green beans: Used half a bag.
  • Frozen broccoli: Used half a bag.
  • Frozen blueberries: Used a quarter of a bag (not in the pot pie, duh).
  • Frozen raspberries: Finished a bag (same comment)!

What’re your pantry-busting tips? How do you feel about moving?