Christmas Baking: Espresso Delights

by Cate on December 10, 2009

Espresso Delights

Yup, ’tis the season.  The baking bonanza officially kicked off this past weekend, and these Espresso Delights were the beauty of the bunch.  As soon as I pulled them from the oven, the kitchen instantly smelled like espresso.  Even though I don’t drink the stuff, I still love the rich, deep aroma that punctuates the air.

I’m not one for long, involved, drawn-out, intricate, fiddly cookie recipes.  I just honestly don’t have the patience for it.  Nor the time.  Although I love baking, I want to get in and get out.  This way I can make more cookies.  Different types.  Try more new recipes.  The less fussy they are, the more new recipes I can try.  And these Espresso Delights were right up my alley.

The recipe comes from the Ultimate Cookies magazine, one of those special publications that come out around the holidays.  The cookies come together in nothing flat.  Before you know it, you’re pulling them from the oven, dusting them with confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder, and popping them in your mouth.  Oh.  You wait for them to cool first?  Fine then.

Their taste?  They remind me a bit of shortbread, definitely packed with buttery goodness.  A little along the lines of Mexican Wedding Cakes if you get my drift.  With a hint of espresso.  And chocolate.  Really.  Do you think I’d steer you wrong?  With caffeine and chocolate, you have a few of your major food groups covered.

These little round circles of espresso chocolatey goodness would be perfect for your next cookie exchange, or cookie platter, or just to fill up your cookie jar.  Ours had been empty (gasp!) for the past two weeks.  Empty no more.

Tray of Espresso Delights

Espresso Delights
Recipe courtesy of Ultimate Cookies magazine

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or regular instant coffee crystals
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
powdered sugar and/or unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat oven to 325. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  (I mixed by hand)  Add the 2/3 cup powdered sugar, the espresso powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour and the chocolate. If necessary, knead dough slightly to blend.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I used small scoop). Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press to flatten slightly (I used a spatula to flatten two at a time). Bake 12 minutes or until cookie edges are set and bottoms are lightly browned. (Mine needed a few extra minutes)  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Sift additional powdered sugar and cocoa powder over cooled cookies.

Makes 36 cookies (I got 42).

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaimie December 10, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Those look good. I gotta say though, I’m all for the fussy type of cookies. Baking soothes me.


patsy December 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm

they look like a perfect treat to bake and share this time of year!


Margaret December 10, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Ooh, these look delicious and sound easy! I can’t wait to try them!


Joanne December 11, 2009 at 7:16 am

I am so looking for simple cookies to make this holiday season. I am an inexperienced cookie baker and want things that are somewhat foolproof and yet still delicious. These sound ideal!


Sarah Caron December 11, 2009 at 7:51 am

I have a ton of instant coffee that I have been tucking to the side for baking. These cookies look like a perfect use for it. Yum!


chris December 11, 2009 at 9:40 am

yummmm… cookies…… mmmmmmm….


Susan December 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I’ve been searching for another kind of cookie to bake this weekend – these look perfect!


Kelly December 12, 2009 at 12:16 am

I lost my baking mojo while preparing for a bake sale, and these brought it right back! Thanks for such an easy, tasty treat.


so Spiffy December 13, 2009 at 7:26 pm

I just love Mexican wedding cakes/cookies… these really look and sound fanfabulous. PERFECT… you are giving me ideas ..tis the season..


Jeff December 14, 2009 at 11:57 am

Coffee and cookies?? Sign me up!!!

Plus nice to meet another baker who is not into dealing with 4 day cookie recipes that involve trekking through the Andes to pick your own chocolate.

Nicely done!


Amanda December 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Well, speaking as one of those bakers who DOES treck four days into the Andes to find my own chocoalte… or, just takes four days to finish sugar cookies…

I really appreciate a simple but delicious recipe! This looks great and your pictures are wonderful!

Be blessed-


Bears Decor March 2, 2010 at 12:06 am

I love anything that is flavored with coffee, throw chocolate in there and we’ve got it on. thanks for the great recipe. Looks great.


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