Chocolate Espresso Butter Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Just a small amount of espresso powder helps enhance the rich chocolate flavor of these cookies. Enjoy them plain, dust with a sprinkling of confectioners sugar, or drizzle with a white chocolate icing.
Recipe type: Dessert | Refrigerator Cookies
  • 1¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • ½ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee (espresso powder)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
Icing (optional):
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons milk (preferably whole milk)
  1. In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt ¼ cup butter. Add cocoa powder and espresso coffee; stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture forms a smooth paste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1 cup butter, cooled chocolate mixture, sugar, and salt; beat until mixture is smooth. Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour; stir until mixed.
  3. Shape dough into a 12 inch roll, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap roll in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Baking sheets may be ungreased, lined with parchment paper, or lined with a non-stick baking mat.
  5. Slice dough into ¼ inch slices and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Return remaining dough to refrigerator until ready to use. Tip: My favorite tool to cut refrigerator cookies is a stainless steel dough scraper; simply push the dough scraper straight down into the cookie for straight cuts. Or use a small kitchen knife to slice the cookies.
  6. Bake: Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and the edges are just barely browned. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet one minute. Remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Icing (optional):
  1. In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, combine white chocolate chips, confectioners sugar, and enough milk to make a good drizzling consistency; stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until chocolate is melted and mixture forms a smooth paste. Remove from heat.
  2. Spoon icing into a small plastic bag. Snip off one corner of the bag, drizzle icing onto cooled cookies.
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated, Holiday 2007
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Ungreased or Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 375° Yield: 4 Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips, Chocolate Types

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