This take on a classic pastry comes courtesy of Karenlee in Massachusetts, USA. We made the original recipe, we loved it, and changed it just slightly. Below is the modified recipe, with the original instructions in parentheses. Our observations will be set off and italicized.
Note: the measurements below are general and may need to be modified for your oven’s output. The recipe assumes preparation and cooking at sea level.
- ¾ cup (C) softened butter divided in ½ C and ¼ C segments
- ½ C granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) ground Rowan’s Royale (original: instant coffee powder)
- 2 tablespoons (T) hot water
- NOTE: if you have hot brewed coffee, you can substitute 2 T of it for the hot water and finely ground coffee above!
- 1 large egg
- 1½ C white, all-purpose, unsifted flour
- 1 pound (#) confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 T Lillifield Jamaican Coffee liqueur (original: 1 T any coffee-flavored liqueur)
- ¼ C even mixture fine coffee grounds and brown sugar (original: chocolate-candy sprinkles)
Generally, if you do not have the equipment any analog will suffice so long as the ratios of ingredients are followed, but with regard to this recipe we think an electric mixer is essential – either that or have seriously strong wrists!
- Electric mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Liquid and solids measures
- Wooden spoon
- Cookie press, or, pastry bag w/ ½ star tip
- Baking pan
- Wire racks
Before beginning, leave the butter out for at least an hour in order for it to naturally come to room temperature.
For best results, let the butter attain room temperature on its own. However, in a pinch, we found that putting the butter on a plate on top of the stove while the oven pre-heats can accelerate the process and not melt the butter too much.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius.
- Hot tip: you can finish the steps below while the oven pre-heats.
- Combine the granulated sugar and ½ C of the softened butter and mix on medium until it is light and fluffy.
- Combine 1 tsp finely ground coffee and 2 T hot water and let steep, or take 2 T brewed coffee if you have some!
- Instant coffee will dissolve more fully and the resultant mixture will not have any grounds or texture. This is preferred if you want completely smooth batter and cookies with less internal texture.
- Using the electric mixer, beat together the coffee from step #3, the egg, and the butter mixture from step #1. Slowly stir in the flour until it is fully blended.
- Using your cookie press or pastry bag, press-out or pipe your dough onto the baking pan.
- This dough does not like to stay on greasy pans or slick non-stick surfaces, especially when using a cookie press. If you only have non-stick pans, shake the cookie press slightly to break the cookie from the dough in the press and it should stay in the pan.
- If using a cookie press, for a nicer final product, gently tamp rough edges using your finger just to soften the sharpest spikes. The rest will relax when baking.
- When the oven reaches the proper temperature bake the cookies for eight minutes or until the edges begin to brown slightly. When the edges brown, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
- Depending on the oven heating element, you might have better results rotating the pan half way through the baking process.
- If you do not have a wire rack, use one of your oven racks with foil draped over it if needed.
- Repeat steps #5-6 until you are out of dough.
- Using your wooden spoon, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, the remaining ¼ C butter and the liqueur until fully blended. This will be the frosting.
- The flavor of the liqueur will be more pronounced than you might think. 2-3 T will produce frosting with a pronounced alcoholic note.
- Mix equal parts coffee grounds and brown sugar in a bowl.
- We found that used coffee grounds work fine for this step. We dried the grounds in the oven on low temperature before beginning.
- Sandwich a generous dollop of frosting between two cookies and gently squeeze until the frosting begins to ooze out the sides of the sandwich. Roll the sandwich edge wise through the mixture from step #9 so the sides of the frosting pick up the mixture.
- This will result in a small amount of the coffee/sugar mixture sticking to your cookies. For a cleaner presentation use either rough ground or crushed coffee or chocolate sprinkles. BEWARE rough ground or crushed coffee will present a bitter fore-taste to the cookie!
The final cookies will be light and delicious; sweet and tasting of delicious coffee with just a hint of alcohol. Unlike other sandwich cookies, they don’t deform when bitten – holding their shape without crumbs!