The winter months are right around the corner, and that means holiday baking is, too. Or more specifically, holiday cookies. They’re probably my favorite thing to bake, and the holiday season just isn’t complete without a bunch of old-fashioned favorites (thumbprints, chocolate crinkles, cherry biscotti…) and a few new cookie recipes we can’t resist trying.
We always throw in a few varieties for the kids, like gingerbread men and spritz, but this year there is one new recipe in our lineup that is all grown up.
These tender dark chocolate espresso cookies dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with just a touch of smoked sea salt have MY name written all over them.
NO. KIDS. ALLOWED.
These cookies first caught my eye when I saw the Better Homes and Gardens recipe, but mine varied out of necessity (and pure craving) – and I’m so glad they did. Because espresso powder is hard to come by in my local stores and I wanted my cookies, like, NOW, I headed to my trusty home-away-from-home (Target) and picked up a pack of Archer Farms Instant Microground Coffee packets. (The medium roast Donut Shop blend.)
Easy. Affordable. Perfection.
Do yourself a favor and start these cookies the day before. You’ll have perfect slice-and-bake rolls to pull out of the fridge, and all you’ll have to do is dip and sprinkle.
But I’m warning you – the dough smells divine.
I’ll be dunking these in both hot cocoa this season. I’m pretty sure they’re just perfect for coffee, too, but that touch of smoky sea salt in a mug of hot chocolatey goodness?
Stop. Just stop it right now.
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- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1 (.1oz) packet instant microground coffee (like Archer Farms or Starbucks VIA)
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Coarsely ground smoked sea salt (or plain sea salt)
- In a small bowl, add hot water to coffee powder; stir until combined and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds, then medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
- Add coffee mixture, vanilla, and salt; beat until combined. Gradually add flour, beating on low speed until just combined. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir in the first 4 ounces of chocolate.
- Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a 10" roll shape; wrap in parchment or waxed paper. Chill until dough is firm enough to slice (overnight works fine.)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut rolls into ¼-inch slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on sheet; bake for 10–12 minutes or until cookies are set. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.
- While cookies are cooling, warm remaining chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir until smooth. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate, allow excess to drip, then return cookies to a parchment sheet or wire rack to cool. Return cookies to wire rack. Wait until chocolate is partially set to sprinkle with a touch of sea salt (salt will dissolve if chocolate is still warm.) Allow cookies to dry.
- Store undipped cookies in an airtight container up to 3 days or freeze. Thaw before dipping.
So now you NEED to find that smoked sea salt, don’t you?
Frontier Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt was one of my top picks from last year’s Natural Products Expo East, and you can get it on Amazon. It’s great on salmon, too.