Today is a special day! If you couldn’t already tell, today is my dear friend Tiffany’s birthday! For the occasion, I baked up some very simple but very delicious “mocha chocolate chip cookies,” which should be sitting on her kitchen counter right now, along with some other goodies, if USPS did what they were supposed to! :)
These cookies are basically a glorified chocolate chip cookie recipe, infused with a good helping of cocoa powder and a couple spoonfuls of instant espresso powder, a.k.a. a match made in HEAVEN. I made these for Tiff’s birthday because of our shared love of mochas, and the many times we indulged in these drinks over our college years together. In making these, I didn’t do much in the way of fancy techniques, intricate decorating, or innovative flavor additions–these morsels are just full of plain good old espresso and chocolate flavor.
That’s OK with me though. This post is mostly about how wonderfully awesome and fabulous my good friend Tiffany is. I am writing this post as a little addition to what couldn’t fit on her birthday card, because I know she’ll be reading this eventually. Right now, however, she’s out celebrating with friends and a fishbowl margarita while I study for the MCAT all by my lonesome. I’m totally not joking either, she even sent me a picture text of it all! Yeah Tiff, thanks for that. ;]
Anyway, I must warn you that this may get a little warm… a little fuzzy… maybe even a little (OK, A LOT!) mushy. So if you’re here purely for the cookie recipe, scroll to the bottom and enjoy the sugary goodness there. I don’t presume that y’all want to know every detail that follows (this is really for her). But if you’d like to stay a few minutes and hear about an example of a true friend, keep on reading. :)
HOMAGE COMMENCES: Tiffany and I met on the very first day of our sophomore year in college. We got all settled into the dorms, and wanting to get a head-start on meeting my floormates and being social, I (and a bunch of other people) ended up in Tiffany’s double, just shootin’ the breeze about our summers. I remember how excited I felt, because here was this girl speaking in such an earnest and passionate manner, and I could see right away how easy it would be to get to know her an be friends. What made it even better was that she was a pre-med just like me, and we were even enrolled in some of the same classes! On the other hand, Tiff was so darn beautiful and vivacious, and she seemed so pulled together and outgoing that I was a little intimidated. Little did I know that Tiffany would turn out to be one of the most down-to-earth, easy-going, fun-loving, hilarious girls I would ever meet.
Three years later, we’ve accumulated these (and many more) memories:
- Me (sometimes futilely) knocking on her dorm room door, trying to wake her up for our 8am bio class
- Subsequently staggering to class, and consistently being unable to resist the call of mochas and bagels from The Coffee Spot on campus
- Then being faced with more than 6 chalkboards full of color-coded notes that were written by our professor before anyone even showed up in the lecture hall… and then furiously trying to copy them all down before he started talking.
- Solidarity in pain and suffering after a physics final, which included a shared pint of haagen dazs and The First Wives Club dvd. Ballin’.
- Tiffany introducing me to the Dance Fail, Can I Have Yo Numba? (best things evar), and Glee.
- Our shared affinity for 80’s songs we’re embarrassed to admit we love (Don Henley’s Boys of Summer, George Michael’s Faith, to name a few). I have to text her whenever I hear these songs playing in my local Safeway.
- Random crazy Irish men
- AMSA national conference at the Disneyland Resort, churros, and karaoke
- Being stuck in a tiny elevator with 12 people for 45 minutes, and then being broken out by firemen with axes (AMSA, again)
- Basically every Monday and Thursday night for the past two years of our lives (AMSA, what else?)
- Tiffany giving me the SUBLIME gift of Philz Coffee
- Long study sessions at The Beanery coffee shop… and basically our entire obsession with coffee.
- Talking about everything– friends, school, guys, faith, our goals, our families, fun we’d currently be planning…
- Shopping, need I say more?
- Dancing in SF!
- By chance always wanting to do the exact same thing at the same moment. This girl is “down to hang,” as she puts it :)
- Sharing the same heart for serving in the medical field
- Being Toasts. ’nuff said.
Wow, I did not mean for that list to get so long, but what can I say–this girl is amazing! I know all these things may sound only fun and lighthearted… The truth is, we shared a ton of those awesome carefree memories, but most of the times our friendship is a little more serious–Tiffany is constantly inspiring me with her example to be the best that I can be, to never shrink from challenges, and to not be afraid to give all of myself for my beliefs, my passions, and my goals. She may be embarrassed if I reveal these things about her, but I am actually proud of her for them. She is such a hard worker, she never settles for the status quo, but always strives for something better. That’s the way she is–a woman with a clear vision, complete confidence, but also complete humility.
Even with her many accomplishments and her bright future, above all Tiff is a friend whom I can lean on. Throughout all my ramblings, problems, insecurities, she’s always the one to listen, encourage, and strengthen me in that calming, compassionate, realistic manner that she has. Even though we are individuals and may not share the same perspective all of the time, or even though we may disagree about something, my friend will always completely consider what I’m expressing because she values me. Of course, I also value her more than I could ever say. I am so thankful for this 3-year friendship, and am SO excited for the years that are to come.
Happy Birthday, Tiffany! YOU ROCK!
Tiffany’s Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 30 4-inch cookies
2 c. All purpose flour
1/4 c. Cocoa powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. Granulated sugar
3/4 c. Brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Espresso powder
2 Large eggs, room temperature
2 c. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 F
- Whisk/sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- With a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter till it is light and fluffy. Add the sugars and continue beating till fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the vanilla, and add the espresso powder. Beat the espresso powder into the wet ingredients until it is dissolved.
- With the electric mixer again, add the egg/espresso mixture in a steady stream to the creamed butter. Beat till smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated. Turn off the electric mixer, and add in the chocolate chips with the rubber spatula.
- Place spheres of roughly 1.5-inches onto your baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake about 15 minutes. After baking, let the cookies sit on the sheet for about 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool.
- Package these up and send them to your best friend, birthday or not!