For many summers, my family was fortunate enough to be able to take a week (sometimes two) on the island Nantucket. These were great weeks for many reasons. I helped my brother learn to ride his bike on the shell-lined street of the cottage we often rented. We would take long morning and evening walks in the village of Siasconset (Sconset to natives) where we typically rented our cottage. Dinners often featured food cooked on the grill, fresh corn from Bartlett’s Farm, and s’mores. Most evenings started with an outdoor “happy hour” featuring cocktails for the adults, cheese, and crackers. Above all else, this trip was about food and family.
One of the best parts of the trip was always driving the car off the ferry when we arrived on the island. We would breathe in those familiar smells, and check out what had changed as we drove to our rental. One year, just off the docks, we saw the sign for a new cookie shop, the Nantucket Cookie Company. Though of course we had brought baked goods–likely both something my mom and I had baked the day before the trip AND cookies my Gram made and packed for us in an old Ritz tin–we knew we would be stopping to check this place out. (We never met a cookie we didn’t like.) Soon this shop became a place we had to visit once or twice during a trip. They made great Nantucket cranberry-oatmeal, snickerdoodles, chocolate chipotle, and iced lemon cookies. We would buy an assortment, bring them home, and cut them into pieces so that everyone could try a piece of the different flavors. On the sad day when we had to pack up the car and return to the mainland, someone would run to the cookie shop and get our favorites to accompany lunch on the boat ride home.
Our favorite cookie of all was the mocha polka (now called the mocha frost). This was a lot like a chocolate crinkle cookie, but it had chips and a hint of espresso. My brother and his wife loved the cookie so much that they ordered them to give as favors at their wedding. It became my mission to figure out how to replicate these cookies at home. My version of these cookies has met with the approval of my favorite cookie tasters–those who have tried the original and those who have not. I always try to make them for my brother and sister-in-law for their birthdays at the end of April or for their wedding anniversary. In fact, I dropped off an early birthday batch yesterday. I wonder if there are any left today…
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup Double Dutch Dark Cocoa OR natural cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar (for rolling)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add espresso powder, eggs, and vanilla.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Beat until just combined.
- Stir in the chips.
- Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough in confectioner’s sugar to coat.
- Place dough onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they're just barely set. Be careful not to over bake.
- Transfer them to a wire rack immediately and allow to cool completely.