Coffee Lover’s Cookies
Excerpted from Stuffed: The Sandwich Cookie Book by Heather Mubarak, © 2023. Published by Chronicle Books. Photographs © Heather Mubarak.
To get the shiny, crackled tops on the cookies, it is important to measure and prepare all the ingredients in advance so that you can work quickly once you begin. You will also need to bake all the cookies immediately after the dough is made. If you chill the dough, the crinkle top will not look the same after being baked, but the cookies will still taste delicious.
Servings: 12 cookie sandwiches
- COFFEE LOVER’S COOKIES
- 1 ¼ cups [225 g] semi-sweet chips
- ½ cup [113 g] unsalted butter
- ¾ cup [95 g] all-Purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¼ cup [20 g] Dutch-process cocoa Powder, sifted, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso powder
- 2/3 cup [130 g] granulated sugar
- ½ cup [100 g] light brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
- ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM
- 1/2 cup [113 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups [360 g] confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine espresso powder (not granules)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk, as needed
TO MAKE THE COOKIES: Adjust the oven racks so that you can cook two baking sheets at the same time (one rack in the top third of the oven and one in the bottom third of the oven)
Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
Create a double boiler by filling a medium saucepan with 2 to 3 in [5 to 7.5 cm] of water. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place a heatproof bowl over the pan, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water below. Add the chocolate chips and butter and cook, stirring often. Do not overheat.
While the chocolate is melting, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
When the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, quickly stir in the instant coffee. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. When removing the bowl, be careful not to let any of the steam or water from the saucepan touch the chocolate mixture.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs and mix with a hand mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla and mix for 20 to 30 seconds on medium-high speed, or until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix for about 10 seconds, until just combined. Use a sturdy spatula to give the batter a couple more turns to incorporate all the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick like brownie batter.
Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, place about 12 leveled scoops of batter on each of the prepared baking sheets. They will spread slightly in the oven, so allow about 2 in [5 cm] between each cookie.
Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake for 9 to 10 minutes. The tops of the cookies will be crackled and shiny. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired. Let cool on the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes before adding the filling.
TO MAKE THE ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup [60 g] at a time. Mix in the vanilla and espresso powder. Add the salt. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and mix for 2 minutes until smooth. If needed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, depending on your desired consistency. If the buttercream is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. If too thick, add more heavy cream. Use immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
TO ASSEMBLE COOKIE SANDWICHES: Transfer the Espresso Buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Flip half of the cookies over so they’re flat-side up. Pipe 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling onto the flat side of the flipped-over cookies. Top each with a second cookie, flat-side down, and gently press together to form a sandwich.