Table of Contents: COOKIES

2 oz. (2 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate

2 cups plain flour

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

1 T. instant coffee crystals

1 tsp. water

½ cup vegetable shortening

½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg, well beaten


Chocolate Topping Sauce:

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (real chocolate, not imitation)

1 ½  to 2 T. vegetable shortening







To Make Cookies:

In a small saucepan, heat and stir the unsweetened chocolate squares until just melted.  Remove from heat immediately, and allow chocolate to cool.


In another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, and salt.  In a cup, mix the coffee crystals and the water.


Using an electric mixer and large bowl, cream the ½ cup shortening, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.   Then add coffee mixture, melted chocolate, and egg; mix to blend.


Turn electric mixer to slow-speed, add the flour mixture until blended; and then beat on medium-speed for 1 to 2 minutes.   Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until dough is stiff enough to handle easily.


On waxed paper, form 2 rolls of dough about 7 “ long each; then wrap the rolls in the waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.


When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the cookie dough into thin ¼” slices and place on ungreased baking pans.  Flatten the cookie slice edges with a fork.  Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are firm.  Do not brown the bottoms of the cookies.   Allow cookies to cool completely before spreading with the chocolate sauce.


To Top the Cookies:

Use a saucepan and a small non-stick skillet that can be placed over the saucepan to use like a double boiler.  Bring water to boil in the saucepan; then lower the heat to allow the water to stay hot, but not boil.  On low-heat, using the non-stick skillet, heat and stir chocolate chips and the shortening until melted; then place the skillet on top of the saucepan with the hot water to keep the chocolate warm and spreadable.    Using a small spreading spatula, ice the tops of the cookies with the warm chocolate mixture.  Place iced cookies back on the baking pan to cool and let the chocolate set.



In Italy, I found it very interesting that the wonderful coffee-based drink of cappuccino was served exclusively at breakfast time.  Our Italian waiters were always “shocked” if I ordered cappuccino later than 11 AM.   So definitely don’t embarrass yourself by ordering cappuccino after dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant – you surely won’t get it!  Espresso coffee rules after breakfast.

It was pretty much the same story about buying a freshly baked loaf of bread.  The bread bakers work very early in the mornings, sending off mouth-watering aromas from their many bakeries.   Locals come to the bakeries and purchase bread for one day only, since Italian breads do not use preservatives.  When the bread is sold out the bakery closes!  If you want bread after the bakeries close, then it has to be bought at a grocery store or be served in a restaurant.

Back to coffee, legend has it that the name “cappuccino”, which means “little hood”, is based on the light brown color of the hooded robes of the Capuchin Order of Franciscan Catholic Monks.

On the Via Veneto in Rome, Joe and I visited the Capuchin Crypt under Santa Maria della Immacolata Concezione church.  It was truly fascinating, but not really a subject to discuss with food.  I’ll leave it at that, and go have a cookie!  Join me?


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