Sunday, March 11, 2012

Espresso Almond Cookies


OMG, I used to buy these from the Arcata Co-op when I was in college at HSU in the early 90's. I didn't buy them very often mind you. I was on a student's budget and at the time they went for 90¢ plain and a dollar for chocolate-dipped. An entire loaf of the co-op bakery's most basic whole wheat bread sold for 99¢ so one had to prioritize. Yeah, that was 20 years ago. But guess what, those cookies are STILL big sellers. And when I visit Arcata, which I try to do once a year in October (it's beautiful then), I stop by and pick up a couple for old time's sake. Thankfully, my financial situation has improved enough that I can't tell you what I've most recently paid for them.

*Okay, now get this. I was about to guess that the cookies might cost a buck and a half by now when I decided to give them a call to find out. Twenty years later, they are just 95¢ and $1.15 dipped. Wow, that is low inflation. I'm impressed. I should have asked how much their basic whole wheat loaf is.

Anyway, these cookies are worth every penny and more. They are rich, dense, buttery, chocolately, nutty and caffeinated. You have to try them. And guess what? You won't need to go all the way to Arcata, Ca to do so. I am going to share the recipe with you right here on this hedonistic-farm-girl blog. One day, during my three years in Arcata, I asked the North Coast Bakery (inside the co-op) for the recipe. They already had some photocopies of the handwritten recipe on some North Coast Bakery stationary and happily handed me a copy! That same photocopied page, slightly yellowed, lives in my recipe drawer

They don't contain any eggs which contributes to their density. Also they use whole wheat pastry flour and ground almonds so they are heavy-duty cookies.

Espresso Almond Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 350°. I make quick work of this with a Kitchenaid mixer but, of course, it can be done by hand.
Cream together
1 cup soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar (I now use muscovado)
4 1/2 teaspoons of instant espresso (I usually substitute 3 or 4 t. of 
   finely ground good coffee)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Combine and add to creamed mixture:
1 c. finely chopped almonds (I use a food processor and go pretty fine)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Finally add:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

Roll into a log. Slice into approximately 24 rounds. Flatten slightly with hand before baking. Bake at 350° for 14 minutes. Let cool completely.
If you tend towards the hedonistic, you can also melt a half a cup or so of the semi-sweet chocolate chips either in a bowl over hot water or carefully in the microwave and slather some chocolate over half of the top of the cooled cookie. Because they are so rich, I usually freeze some for later, which works great.



  1. Thank you for sharing the recipe! I too was a student at HSU many years ago and still crave these cookies!

  2. can you pickle these?

    1. GT, I have not tried pickling them. Let me know if you have success with that;-)

  3. Thank you for this!!!! Also a student there many years ago and NEVER could forget these cookies!!! so nice of them to share it with you and nice of you to share with us! Thank you thank you thank you!

  4. Remember the ones with the raspberry jam filling? YUMMMMMM.... I was a student at CR, the establishment for the less ambitious student ;)