Week 5: Espresso Your Heart

Love coffee. Love chocolate. As soon as I saw the ingredients for this cookie I knew they were next on my list. The thought of making Kahlua buttercream made me giddy. Now, what makes you happy, I don't know, but the thought of butter and Kahlua being whipped into a heavenly cream...yay!

Recipe courtesy Good Cookies

Dark cocoa cookie:
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. Dutch-processed cocoa

Kahlua buttercream:
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp. Kahlua
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the cocoa powder, mixing until blended. Add the flour in three additions, mixing until just blended. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide into two. Shape each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Place one of the dough disks on a very lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a thickness of 3/16 of an inch. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, round is best, cut out as many as possible and arrange them 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes, make sure to not overbake. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
5. With an electric mixer, beat the butter at a medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then add the Kahlua and vanilla extract, and beat until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat until the buttercream is creamy.
6. Spoon about 3/4 tsp. of the buttercream onto the center of the bottom of half of the cookies. Top each with another cookie, right side up, and press the cookies together lightly until the filling spreads evenly to about 1/16 inch from the edge. Serve or refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

First thing, instant espresso powder is not a product that every grocery store will carry. My advice is that you call around some local stores before you get in the car and go. I called four different places. If you live locally, you'll be able to purchase it at DLM. You can also find Droste dutch-processed cocoa there. Since I was feeling in a rather festive mood, I used a heart shaped cookie cutter. I must say, they are cute this way, but not in a cheesy way since the cookie itself is so dark. Also, I decided to double the buttercream recipe. I would recommend this, but it is up to you. Just double the buttercream ingredients from above.

My Verdict. HELLO! Come here my lovely, delicious, little cookie. But, I'm biased because I love coffee and chocolate. The coffee flavor is so subtle. The filling is divinely smooth and light. The cookie itself is good, but it becomes so much better when you have the contrasting flavor and texture of the buttercream. They are a little bit of work, but if you enjoy this sort of thing, you won't mind the effort once you taste them.

Survey Results: The highest scoring cookies yet! 4.68 out of 5. The texture of the cookie surprised people. It is soft and not crisp like you might expect on a sandwich cookie. Some couldn't place the coffee flavor of the Kahlua and thought the flavor was "unique". And people who don't like coffee normally, thought the cookie was enjoyable. I've created the gateway cookie that leads to coffee drinking!

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