These coffee cookies are truly the best! They are crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle, and flavored with a hint of cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla. If you’re a coffee person, you need to make these ASAP!
Here is your friendly reminder to just go ahead and set a couple of sticks of unsalted butter on the counter. It’s cookie season, and you’re probably going to need it. I have to say, I have tested many a cookie recipe this year, and these coffee cookies are one of the few contenders that made it past the initial testing stage. They are so. damn. good.
Also, they’re the kind of cookie that is best around Christmas but can be made any time of the year. I’m into this, because yeah December is cookie season, but sometimes you need a cookie in July and gingerbread will just not cut it. But coffee will! Coffee is always a good idea.
(Is that line probably on a vinyl-scripted wood sign from Home Goods? Perhaps. But let’s roll with it anyways).
The best coffee cookies ever
These cookies are basically if like, a cappuccino and a Snickerdoodle had a baby. I really wanted to make a coffee cookie that didn’t have chocolate, cause I just think it overpowers the coffee flavor (don’t hate me). So instead, I added some cardamom and cinnamon because I was feeling inspired by coffee hawaij. I took a page from the cookie queen herself, Sarah Kieffer, and pan-banged the cookies because I wanted that crispy edge, gooey interior situation. The result is a cookie that is so chewy, soft, and has the best combo of coffee, vanilla, and warm spice.
The best part is that there is absolutely nothing difficult about these cookies. The ingredients are easy to find. There is no chilling time. (But also, you can chill the dough if you want to). You don’t have to decorate or cookie-cut or frost. Everything about these coffee cookies is simple and straightforward. They’re the kind of cookies you make when you want to add one more recipe to your holiday baking list but don’t want any work. They’re just the best!
The ingredient list
Like I said earlier, the ingredients in this recipe are super simple to find. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baking basics – flour, baking powder, baking soda, table salt, and white sugar.
- Spices – cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla extract.
- Brown sugar – we use mostly brown sugar to make the cookies extra chewy.
- Butter – unsalted and very soft!
- An egg – bring it to room temperature for the best results.
- Instant coffee – try to find a higher-quality instant coffee for the best flavor.
Let’s make coffee cookies!
- To start, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
- Next, cream the butter and sugars together until they are light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Then, add the egg, vanilla extract, and instant coffee and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix the dough just until it comes together. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough if you want to help the flavor develop.
- Next, scoop the dough into balls. Roll the balls into some granulated sugar, and set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet a few inches apart.
- Bake the cookies at 350°F for about 7 minutes. Using oven mitts, bang the pan on the oven rack until you have ripples on the edges and the air escapes from the cookies. Rotate the pan and bake the cookies for another 1-2 minutes, until the edges are just lightly golden brown.
- Lastly, remove the cookies from the oven. If they have puffed up again, give them another pan-bang on the counter. Let them cool for a few minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy with some hot coffee!
To chill or not to chill
One of the highlights of these cookies is that you totally don’t have to chill the dough for them to look and taste amazing. If you want to just go ahead and scoop the dough right away, the texture and flavor will be absolutely delicious!
On the other hand, if you want to make the dough in advance, these cookies are definitely chill-friendly. I actually left the dough in the fridge for two and a half days while I was testing it and they came out so delicious. The time in the fridge really let the flavors and color develop. However, you definitely don’t have to chill the dough for more than a day! Overnight or even just an hour would work too. All-in-all, it really just depends on how much time you have and if you’re trying to make cookies ahead of time or right away!
TL;DR: These cookies are very forgiving. The dough can chill for a couple of days or be scoooped and baked straight away.
A note on instant coffee
As much as I usually detest instant coffee, it does have its place in the world. It’s in cookies. And some other baked goods. In this recipe, instant coffee is absolutely necessary. Coffee, and even coffee concentrate, will have far too much liquid and will end up causing a texture issue.
And yes, I am a proud and self-proclaimed coffee snob. However, I really mean it when I say that choosing high-quality instant coffee matters here. Since it’s our main flavoring agent, you don’t want to choose something that tastes awful. I recommend looking for a good-quality version at your local grocery store. Or, head over to your favorite local coffee shop. Some of them sell specialty instant coffees that will add a lot of great flavor to this recipe!
Storing & freezing
Once the coffee cookies are completely cooled, store them in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. After 3-4 days, they will start to lose their chew. If you need them to last a little longer, you can always freeze them!
To freeze the cookies, just place them in a single layer in an airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper in-between each layer of cookies so they don’t stick. Finish off with a piece of parchment paper to help protect them from freezer burn. Freeze the cookies for up to 2 months. Let them defrost uncovered at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before serving.
If you want to make these cookies extra fancy with add-ins, go for it! Chocolate chips, hazelnuts, coconut, or toffee would all be excellent additions. However, you don’t want to go too crazy or it will affect the texture of the cookies. For larger add-ins, like chocolate chips or nuts, I would go with about 1 cup total. For smaller add-ins like coconut or toffee, start with 1/2 a cup and add more to taste.
Tips & tricks
- Room temperature ingredients are key to making great cookies every time. Make sure to bring your unsalted butter and egg to room temp for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Don’t overmix the cookies or they will come out tough. If necessary, mix with your stand mixer just until you have large cookie dough chunks and then finish mixing with a rubber spatula.
- Scoop the cookie balls with about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough. I use a #60 cookie scoop, scoop out two balls of dough, roll them together, and bake. This is my favorite cookie size for optimal spreading and chewiness.
- Slightly underbake the cookies for the ultimate chew-factor. The edges should be lightly browned and the centers should still be a little doughy. Don’t worry, they’ll finish baking as they cool on the sheet pan!
- To decorate the cookies for the holidays, you can roll them in colorful sanding sugar instead of granulated sugar.
More holiday cookies you’ll love
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Chewy Coffee Cookies
- 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 c unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 3/4 c white sugar, divided
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs instant coffee
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Adjust the rack to the middle position. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, table salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and instant coffee until thoroughly mixed.*
- Add the flour mixture in two batches just until the dough comes together. Avoid overmixing or you will end up with tough cookies. At this point, you can cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or up to two days to let the flavor and color develop. This is totally optional!**
- Roll the dough into 1 1/2-2 Tablespoon balls.*** Roll each dough ball in the remaining white sugar. Place 6 balls on each sheet pan, leaving 3-4 inches between each ball (they will spread out quite a bit).
- Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, until the cookies are puffy in the center. Using oven mitts, grip the sides of the sheet pan and give the sheet pan a few firm taps against the oven rack until the edges are wrinkly and the centers of the cookies fall and flatten. Flip the pan and bake the cookies for another 1-2 minutes, until the cookies are spread out, the edges are golden brown, and the centers are just slightly underdone****. Remove the cookies from the oven, and give them another tap against a counter or another firm surface until the edges are wrinkled the centers are flat and crinkled.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan for about 5-10 minutes. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Golden Days by Whitney