Black and Tan Cookies (Two Cookies in One!)

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     Today I want to share a chocolate chip cookie.  No, no, that’s a chocolate chocolate chip cookie.  Wait! Hold on.  It’s both!  Yes, these black and tan cookies are the perfect solution for those indecisive days when it seems almost impossible to choose between wearing a comfy T-shirt or a cute cardigan or either watching a movie or reading a book.  This cookie banishes the either/or and gives you both.

     I have found that sometimes when two food items are combined, the end result is disappointing.  I would have preferred eating the two things separately.  The black and tan cookies banish this problem, too.  These two yummy cookies blend together perfectly.  The richer chocolate base complements the buttery, classic chocolate chip cookie perched on top.

     When I made these, I found that the cookies turned out best when I placed the chocolate base on the cookie sheet and then firmly squished the chocolate chip cookie into the base.  If I just lightly pressed them together, the cookies didn’t really bake up layered.  The top cookie kind of slid off and made a bigger, half-chocolate, half-chocolate chip cookie.  It was still cute, but I personally thought the layered look was a little more elegant.  Plus, with the half-and-half cookie, you don’t get both flavors with each bite.

     For the cookies, I followed the chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I tweaked the double fudge one.  Of course, in the process of cleaning, I believe I told someone to throw a pile of papers away that included the notes.  I’m pretty sure that this is what I did, though,

Chocolate Chocolate Chip (or Double Fudge) Cookie Recipe Adapted from Butter Baking

1 ½ sticks melted butter, melted and cooled but still warm

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules or instant espresso powder

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

     In a small bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk together until combined and then sprinkle the coffee granules over it.  Set aside to let the coffee dissolve (not all of it will) while you continue with the dough.

     In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugars together by hand.  Give the egg mixture a good stir to incorporate the coffee and then dump it into the butter-sugar bowl, scraping as much coffee out of the small bowl as possible.  Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

     In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  (If you’re feeling energetic, you can sift the cocoa powder to break up and clumps.  I like doing this, but I have to admit that I didn’t when I made these cookies.  It’s just that the sifter was on the high shelf, and I would have had to get a chair…)

     Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until everything is just combined.  Dump the chocolate chips in (and sneak a few for yourself while you’re at it) and give the dough a few final stirs to incorporate.

     After you’ve finished making the dough, just switch back to Natasha’s directions.  By the way, don’t you just love how she styles her blog posts?  Everything always looks so pretty and artistic!  I love the flowers and the little pitcher of milk.  Anyway, these cookies are seriously delicious and really fun to make (and look at) (and eat).  Oh, and I apologize for the rather warm tint of my photo.  It was raining that day, and I had to turn the lights on to take the picture.

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Amazing Grilled Cheese

     I have something that will get you right out of the lunchtime doldrums.  I saw this fabulous spinach-grilled cheese with mozzarella and Parmesan on Emu’s Eats blog the other day.  Right away I knew I had to try it.  I made it today, and it was as scrumptious as it looked in the picture.

     One of the best parts of this sandwich (besides how delicious it is) is how easy and fast it is to make.  It doesn’t involve any weird ingredients and can be thrown together in a matter of minutes.  Despite how quick it is to make, it tastes like something you would pay a lot of money for at a café.

     Before I tried my grilled cheese, I was worried it would be a little bland because of the mozzarella.  I was completely wrong!  While the mozzarella melted into dreamy creaminess, the Parmesan and onion provided the flavor.

      Now, I cheated a little with the ingredients.  Since I had neither a wedge of Parmesan nor a red onion (I only had yellow onions which I thought would be a little sharp for a sandwich), I substituted pre-grated Parmesan and onion powder.  The sandwich was still delicious, though.  I can’t wait till I make it again and have a red onion.  I love grilled red onions, especially when they are sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.  I’m wandering, though.  I tend to do that when I talk about food.  Anyway, with or without red onions, this sandwich is amazing.  Please make it.  Then you’ll never have to regret not eating one of the best grilled cheeses of your life.