Guilty as charged. Yes, this cook's been known to sample the cookie dough. (You too?) But here's the cookie dough that taught me an unexpected lesson.
“Never judge a book by its cover,” is an age-old aphorism. With this little cookie, I learned a similar lesson, “Never judge a cookie by its dough.”
What baker doesn’t sneak a small bit of cookie dough from the mixing bowl? Some bakers – no names, please, to protect the sweet-toothed guilty – are known to make cookies that never actually reach the oven because the entire batch is eaten as raw dough!
Mini Coffee Cookies are a new cookie for me, made for the first time before Christmas. Despite combining two favorite flavors, coffee and currants, the dough itself was a disappointment. Not to worry, I told myself, it can happen.
But when I sampled the first cookie, still warm from the oven, it was a disappointment too. What cookie doesn’t taste good warm?! Mini Coffee Cookies, that’s what.
But there’s a happy ending. This cookie entirely and completely redeemed itself by tasting absolutely delicious when baked and cooled completely. In fact, it was my favorite cookie from the holidays.
Aesthetically, the cookies are a bit brown, a bit lumpy from the finger shaping. But I promise: they’re wonderful when paired with a cup of coffee, sublime when dunked into that hot java. Try these – and judge for yourself.
MINI COFFEE COOKIES
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 4 dozen mini cookies or 3 dozen small cookies
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals or instant expresso
- 1 tablespoon cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperatur
- 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1-3/4 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup currants
- Additional powdered sugar
Stir coffee, cream and vanilla in a large bowl until the coffee dissolves. Stir in egg yolk. Add butter and cream cheese and beat until smooth with an electric mixer. Add powdered and brown sugars and beat until well blended. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder. Add currants and mix until just blended. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. To form cookies, roll about a small piece of dough (see TIPS) into a ball and roll it in powdered sugar, coating completely. Place on a baking sheet about an inch apart (the cookies don’t spread). With your fingers, flatten the ball a bit to form a round cookie. Bake until golden brown on bottom, about 15 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
MOCHA MELTING MOMENTS This is such an easy variation, discovered by happy accident. Just substitute mini chocolate chips for currants, roll the dough balls in powdered sugar but don’t flatten. After baking, roll the still-hot cookies in powdered sugar again.
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