Chocolate Lava Cookies filled with Espresso Ganache

I cook a lot – so it takes a truly extraordinary recipe for my husband to remember it and request them by name. Chocolate Lava Cookies are his favorite for many reasons.

Just a hint of coffee flavor in a vanilla infused crispy yet also soft chocolate chip cookie. The recipe is a little time intensive – but is purposely built to just make a dozen cookies.

Ingredients for Cookies
• 1/3 cup salted butter
• 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
• 3 tablespoons white sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 large egg yolk
• 3/4 cup white all-purpose flour NOT packed into the measuring cup
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/3 cup high quality milk-chocolate chunks or chips

Ingredients for the Ganache
• 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into 3/4 -inch pieces
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Kahlúa


Instructions for Ganache

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until bubbles appear around the edge; remove from the heat. Add the espresso powder and stir to dissolve. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in the Kahlúa. For easier spooning in this recipe don’t let it cool to firm – I find that by the time I have the cookies made it needs stirring to be spoonable into the cookies

Instructions for Cookies
1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, partially melt the butter in the microwave. (Just enough that you’ll be able to easily mix it)
2. With a spoon or a whisk, whisk in the brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla extract (scale down or up to taste preference – I like a strong vanilla flavor) into the bowl of the butter.
3. Stir until completely smooth and then stir in the egg yolk. (The more yellow the yolk, the more flavor your cookies will have. Organic eggs are generally larger and more yellow which is what I used).
4. Measure the flour carefully making sure not to pack in the flour.
5. Stir in the flour and baking soda and mix well. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. (If not, add a bit more flour until a good dough is formed).
6. Stir in the chocolate chips. Knead the chips into the dough.
7. Place the dough in an airtight container and in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour and preferably overnight
(overnight will yield a greater flavor as the ingredients meld together).

8. When ready to bake, set the oven temperature at 350 degrees.
9. Roll a dozen balls of dough that are even (If you have a food scale, I get the best results from cookies that are 1.3 ounces.)
11. Using a nonstick cupcake tin – press one cookie’s worth of dough into the bottom of each cupcake holder. Then spoon on top of the cookie, 1 rounded tablespoon of the ganache, then top the ganache with another cookie’s worth of dough. Don’t try to press it down to seal it in – or you’ll get a ganache splatterathon. (not that I know this from experience or anything)

12. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top
13. Allow the cookies to continue to “bake” on the cookie sheet for 3 more minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

As they cool they will “crater” leaving room for a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream which I then drizzel with caramel sauce (caramel sauce is available in the caramel sauce aisle at your grocery)