Big Results, Small Effort:
A crisp coffee-flavored cookie, a favorite for more than twenty years, ever since my friend Lisa won "best cookie of the year" with the recipe at our cookie swap way back forever ago. Don't they look like they'd take forever to make and be oh-so-fussy? But they're not. You'll make a batch with just 20 minutes hands-on time. Plus? I'll never call a cookie "diet food" but each cookie has just 50 calories and adds up to just one Weight Watchers point. Gorgeous on a cookie plate!
Some 21 cookie swaps ago, my dear friend Lisa took first prize in the “best cookie of the year” contest with this cookie recipe. How do I know? Call me a packrat but I still keep old 3x5 recipe cards. So retro, I know, but I love the history in margin notes! This one reads, “Mexican Coffee Crisps, 1991 Cookie Exchange – Lisa’s - #1!”
Every Christmas since, I’ve made these bite-size, coffee-flavored cookies. But this year, I noticed how little sugar is in the dough and that the cookie dough needs no egg – a plus if you’re up to your elbows in flour and butter but running short on eggs.
Then I tracked how long it took me to make the cookies. Great surprise! Twelve minutes to mix. Three minutes – really – to slice the dough onto cookie sheets. And once the cookies are baked? Those fancy-looking squiggles? Five minutes. I kid you not.
That’s a lot of bang – with good looks and good flavor – for just twenty-minutes of hands-on time. TWENTY MINUTES!
SWAPPING RECIPES & COOKIES My friend Lisa and I have been sharing recipes since, um, let's see, 1985! Like me, she blogs (do check out My Own Sweet Thyme) so it's always fun to see the back and forth between the many recipes we have in common. On the savory side, you'll find Greek Feta Chicken, Emerald Isle Stew and Blueberry Salsa. On the sweet side, there's Fresh Cranberry Drop Cookies and Derby Pie. Some times it's hard to remember exactly who was the "first" to try the recipe!
SLICE ‘N’ BAKE COFFEE COOKIES with
CHOCOLATE-COVERED ESPRESSO BEANS RECIPE
Chill time: at least 4 hours
Time to table: 5 hours
Makes 30 cookies, easily doubled or tripled
- 1-1/4 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 156g
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50g) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 30 chocolate-covered espresso beans (about 1-1/4oz/32g)
COOKIES In a bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the espresso-water mixture. Turn in the flour, mix until well combined.
Turn the dough onto a work space lined with a piece of waxed paper. With your hands, form a square roll about 8” long and 1-1/2” square. Wrap with the plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, at least four hours.
Preheat oven to 350F. When the oven is hot, slice the roll with a sharp knife to produce squares about 1/4-inch thick. Place an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 – 15 minutes until the bottoms are crisp and golden. Let cool completely.
SQUIGGLE ICING In a small bowl, mix the espresso powder and water, then work in sugar. Transfer to a freezer bag, snip the corner just a little. Working from one corner to the opposite corner, squeeze out the icing in a zig-zag. Press an espresso bean into the icing. Let icing dry.
STORE Arrange a single layer of cookies in a cookie tin, top with a sheet of waxed paper, then repeat. These cookies freeze well.
HOW TO MAKE "BROWN COOKIES" WORK ON A COOKIE TRAY
But I was quite pleased how this "all-brown" cookie tray looked for a holiday dessert tasting we hosted this last weekend. It worked because there were different textures and shapes, the square Slice 'n' Bake Coffee Cookies topped with a squiggle of icing and an espresso bean, long biscotti dipped in chocolate and irregular shapes of chocolate-topped Graham Cracker Toffee. Pretty, yes?
This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011
Frosty Christmas Trees Saturday Soup Cranberry-Mac Morsels Cranberry Pudding Elk Meatloaf Cinnamon Apples Chocolate Ginger Crinkle Cookies Finnish Meatballs Mexican Fruit Salad No-Roll Christmas Sugar Cookies Festive Holiday Salad
This Week, Elsewhere
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