Big Results, Small Effort:
Slice 'n' Bake Coffee Cookies with Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans Recipe

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!

Slice 'n' Bake Coffee Cookies with Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans

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!

ALANNA's TIPS Look for the smallest chocolate-covered espresso beans you can find. The ones from Trader Joe’s are just too-too big. St. Louisans, I find small ones at Global Foods in Kirkwood but in other years in other cities, I had good luck at my favorite chocolate shop and even someplace like World Market. Oh! And Starbucks! Wondering where the baking powder or baking soda is? This recipe uses none! One batch is slightly small for a stand mixer, consider a double batch or just be prepared to scrape the sides of the bowl. While baking, these cookies make the kitchen smell heavenly!

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!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes total
Chill time: at least 4 hours
Time to table: 5 hours
Makes 30 cookies, easily doubled or tripled
  • 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.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Cookie, Without/With Chocolate-Covered Espresso Bean: 44/49 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 8mg Cholesterol; 31/32mg Sodium; 4/5g Carb; 0g Fiber; 3/4g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1, WW PointsPlus 1
Adapted from an unknown source, the original name was "Mexican Coffee Crisps" and it turns up once or twice online but no source is named there either.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Slice 'n' Bake Coffee Cookies on Cookie Tray

When I put together a cookie tray, for attractive presentation, I always include "color" – often from No-Roll Christmas Sugar Cookies or Frosty Christmas Trees.

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

Wicked Good Shrimp from Sanctuaria Wild Tapas
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

~ more Recent Recipes ~
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© Copyright 2012 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.