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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

I keep waiting for this whole cupcake trend to end. But just as I think, "It will, it must!", another bright and cheery cupcake shop opens on my corner. To be honest, the whole cupcake craze has always confused me, not in the least because if there is any baked good that could easily be marketed as petite, chic, and an acceptable part of the modern diet, it's the cookie.

Now, I'm a personal fan of the homiest, most rustic, slap-dash drop cookies out there. Most of the cookies I make fall into this category. But there are so many beautiful, elegant options out there—the delicate macarons and linzer cookies of the world—that seem to fit perfectly with the current trend for attractive, individually portioned desserts. Maybe, I thought as I gave the newest cupcake shop the stink eye, maybe we just need a grown-up cookie. An ambassador to start the Cookies: They're Not Just For Kids campaign. So I ran home and pulled out three ingredients that I use for my more sophisticated desserts: unsweetened European cocoa powder, ground espresso, and walnuts.

The result: these cookies, which I will fondly name Midnight Cookies for both their intense black color and to insinuate that if your bedtime is before said hour, these cookies aren't for you. The cocoa powder gives them a deep chocolate flavor that's enhanced by the espresso. The walnuts add a hint of bitterness and a satisfying crunch in an otherwise moist and compact crumb. These aren't exceptionally sweet, but the depth of the cocoa flavor and soft-crunchy contrast is wonderfully satisfying. Try serving them after dinner with a caffè corretto. Adults, you understand.

Get the Recipe

Midnight Cookies »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the Community Manager of Serious Eats and writes the Wake and Bake, Cookie Monster, and Serious Entertaining columns. She likes perusing her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar.

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