Category Archives: Michigan

Coffee Cookies, a Better Way to Amp Up Your Morning

What could be worse than beginning the day on a 6:30 a.m. flight? I’ll tell you: a 6:30 a.m. flight complete with a far (far) too perky flight attendant. High-spirited would be an understatement. Rather, a level of energy on par with an especially hyper cheerleader that just downed a can of sugar-free Red Bull.

This kind of presence isn’t how I’d suggest starting a Friday morning. Yet such was the case for yours truly (and trust me not by choice). Where can one escape when about to be airborne? No where. So there I sat, mindlessly staring in front of seat 2A at Flight Attendant Sue* who stood wearing an ear-to-ear smile along with a navy blue polyester U.S. Airways uniform. Sue’s piercing blue eyes perfectly complemented her red 50s bob, a distinguished look that appropriately carried a fiery attitude to match. Sue’s enthusiasm was something special—animation that not even three shots of espresso could have provided the average joe.

As Sue’s raspberry-colored lips proceeded to voice the “in case of flight emergency” directions, I couldn’t help but secretly wish for a flight attendant mute button, a collective thought among fellow bloodshot passengers, I’m certain. My other covet would have been for a warm coffee cookie, a more euphoric way to begin any morning.

Whether or not you’re into sweets, a coffee cookie is a must taste-test. I discovered the following recipe during a recent trip to my grandmother’s cottage in New Era, Michigan, where I made these Divine (with a capital D) delights multiple times. Yes, they are absolutely extraordinary. The recipe’s incorporation of coffee grounds give the cookies a unique texture and flavor, even more so when tweaked with my recommended three special ingredients of cinnamon, cocoa powder and dark chocolate. While you can use any coffee grounds, I suggest a strong roast to draw out the coffee flavor. My initial recipe test included grounds from Leelanau Coffee, a company based in Glen Arbor, Michigan. The particular coffee I used was Leelanau’s Bakery Blend, a mix of dark roasts and South American beans that together provide a rich, full-bodied flavor. The coffee is decent when made as a drip for a traditional morning wake-me-up, but I also give it thumbs up when used for baking.

Coffee Cookies
1 ¼C flour (I recommend whole-wheat pastry flour)
¼C brown sugar
½C sugar
½C melted butter
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp coffee grounds
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of cinnamon
As much dark chocolate as you can handle

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Mix melted butter and sugars. Combine egg and vanilla extract; add cinnamon, salt and cocoa powder. Slowly mix in flour. When all ingredients are married, toss in chunks of dark chocolate and stir. Roll dough into balls and bake 12 minutes.

*Flight Attendant Sue’s real name is lost on my mind. She sure looked like a Sue. Maybe even a Peggy-Sue.