The forced confinement of a recent snowstorm made me a little bit stir-crazy, but also reminded me that my perfect pantry holds everything I need to soothe my sweets-starved spirit. A quick browse revealed some decaf espresso powder and cocoa powder, and from that starting point -- and my jars of flours and sugars and extracts -- I created these quick and easy sugar cookies. I could have chilled the dough, rolled it flat, and cut it with cookie cutters. Instead, I put my small ice cream scoop (a disher with a quick release) to work, and set the balls of dough on the baking sheet without pressing them down. The result? Mounded cookies that browned gently on the outside while remaining quite chewy on the inside. The light mocha flavor was a perfect match to my afternoon coffee as I watched the snow pile up outside the kitchen window.
Mocha sugar cookies
Makes 24-30 cookies.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp instant espresso (use decaf)
1-1/4 cups best quality unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp milk (any type; I use nonfat)
2-1/2 tsp best quality pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and instant espresso.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla, and continue to beat until well blended and smooth. Beat flour mixture into the butter mixture until smooth.
Use a cookie scoop or teaspoon to form round balls 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Place them 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until just lightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges. Remove pans from oven and let cookies cool 2-3 minutes. Then remove cookies to a rack and let cool completely. When the cookies first come out of the oven, they will seem undercooked. As they cool, the outside will crisp, and the inside will remain chewy. The cookies can sit out for several hours before you store them in an airtight container.
More mocha goodies you can bake with what's in your pantry jars:
Mocha sour cream cake
Quick and easy fudge mocha brownies
Espresso chocolate custard cups
Slow cooker espresso rubbed pot roast
Coffee cake with espresso-cocoa swirl
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Mocha scones, from My Baking Addiction
Mocha brownies, from Brown Eyed Baker
Mocha silk pie, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Double chocolate mocha biscotti, from Elana's Pantry
Salted caramel mocha cupcakes, from A Farmgirl's Dabbles
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