Have you read Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren? It is one of the best children’s books ever and as such it is a great read no matter what your age is. It was a great pleasure to reread it with my children, from a different point of view this time. Pippi lives alone, you see, and when her friends Tommy and Annika find out, they ask her: “But who tells you when to go to bed and stuff?”
“ I tell myself.” Pippi explains. “First, I say it quite mildly, but if I don’t listen, I say it again and pretty sharply and if that doesn’t help, it ends with spanking!”
Being a freelancer, I am my boss. I have to tell me what to do. Sometimes I have issues with authority. I rebel against it. Like last week on Friday when I knew that we would be leaving for Belgium in a couple of hours to visit a nursery for an article on unusual berries. I told myself that the things to do were: pack a suitcase, pack stuff for the kids who were heading for a sleepover, prepare intelligent questions for the interview, and clean the bathroom if there was any time left.
And then I spent most of the morning baking cookies, because…we obviously needed provisions, right?
Later on our way to Belgium, we got stuck in a traffic jam for an hour. Good that I did not listen to myself in the morning because the thought of a clean bathroom back home would not have comforted me quite as much as these cookies did.
I used my go-to chocolate chip recipe based on Deborah Madison’s, substituted dark chocolate with white and added instant coffee. I hardly ever eat white chocolate, but sometimes in baking, it has a roll to play. Here, it plays off the slight bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness is not overwhelming. Also, adding ground cloves was a very good idea, if I may say so myself.
I used part spelt flour because it is more nutritious and has a nutty taste, but if you don’t have it, you can of course use all all-purpose flour.
White chocolate coffee cookies
120 g (½ cup) butter, room temperature
75 g (½ cup) natural cane sugar (or regular sugar)
50 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
70 g (½ cup) spelt flour
100 g (¾ cup) unbleached flour
1 ½ tbsp instant coffee
½ tsp ground cloves
100 g (about ½ cup) white chocolate, chopped
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in the egg and egg yolk, then add the vanilla and salt. Add flour, instant coffee and cloves, then mix in the chopped chocolate. Let cool for about hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Form the cookie dough into rounds about the size of a large unshelled walnut. Place them about 5 cm (2 inches) apart on the baking sheets. Press down the tops to flatten them slightly. Bake until lightly browned on top and slightly browner on the bottom, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Store in an air-tight container, for up to 5 days.