Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Coffee and chocolate… does it get any better? These chocolate espresso cookies are both adult and kid approved and pair beautifully with a robust cup of coffee… or milk! You choose- no judgement here. The crackly tops and bold flavourful insides will keep you coming back for more.

Dark brown espresso cookies with decorative sugar and large cracked tops. Cookies are on top of wood and parchment with coffee beans spilling out of a jar. A small jar of milk sits in the foreground.

These cookies are just the pick me up that you need to add a little pep to your step! How many espresso cookies is too many? Asking for a sleep deprived mom friend…

Key Ingredients

Overhead view of ingredients for espresso cookies.

espresso powder- I buy espresso powder from my local grocery store. The brand I use is Nescafe Gold. If you don’t have any espresso powder on hand, you can use instant coffee.

coco powder- I love Fry’s Premium Cocoa Powder. It is a high quality cocoa powder that can be found locally or online.

fancy molasses- I prefer fancy molasses because it is lighter and sweeter than cooking molasses.

fancy sugar- highlight that beautiful cracked top with some fancy decorative sugar. If you can get your hands on some Wilton White Sparkling Sugar, do it. I’m from a small town so it isn’t always easy to find niche things like decorating sugar. In a pinch, I’ve used larger granule raw sugar and loved the way it looked.

Equipment Needed

small cookie scoop (optional)- If you don’t have a cookie scoop yet, why not!? They will make your cookies uniform and make it easy for the kids to help!

large cookie scoop (optional)

baking sheet

Side view of a stack of eight cookies with coffee beans spilling out in the backgound.

Tips + Tricks

How to Make Sure That Your Cookies Crack

We all want that ooey gooey crackly top on our cookies! Here are some tips to make sure that your cookies have the perfect crispy crackly outsides and soft fudgy insides.

  1. Make sure that you are cooking your cookie at a high enough temperature. This goes for all kinds of cookie recipes… especially these Chocolate Espresso Cookie and Memere’s Gingerbread Cookies. Fully preheat your oven to 375°F before baking these cookies. This helps to harden the tops of the cookies right at the start of the bake while the insides are still soft. As the cooking progresses, the inside of the cookies will expand, pushing the crusty top layer aside and causing the token cracks we have all come to love.
  2. Be careful not to over-mix your cookie dough. Over-mixing cookie dough adds excess air and causes them to rise and then fall. This causes them to be crispy, flat and deflated instead of crackled to perfection…
  3. Make sure that your baking soda is no older than three months. Your leavening agent needs to be strong enough to break through the top layer of your cookie. As baking soda ages, it becomes less effective. Skip the large economical box and opt for a smaller box that needs to be replenished more often!

Chill the dough

Chilling the dough for a minimum of one hour helps to make sure that your cookies don’t spread too much. This dough can be chilled for up to three days if you want to prep it and forget it for a while!

Chocolate cookie dough ready to be chilled.

Espresso vs. Instant Coffee, Whats the Difference?

Both espresso powder and instant coffee are created by dehydrating grinds that have already been brewed. Most instant coffee is made using robusta beans whereas regular coffee stems from arabica beans. The robusta beans tend to be less smooth and more bitter.

Espresso powder is more concentrated than instant coffee. It is darker and smoother. Espresso powder is often made from higher quality beans like arabica beans. The stronger more robust flavour makes espresso powder the winning choice amongst most bakers.

This recipe calls for espresso powder but I have also made these chocolate cookies with instant coffee and had awesome results.

Can I use Hot Chocolate instead of Cocoa?

Hot chocolate powder has a ton of coco in it…along with added sugar. It will definitely work in place of cocoa (I have done it with success) but you will have a sweeter cookie. You might want to remove a tablespoon or two of sugar from the main recipe if you are concerned about sugar content. Hot chocolate powder will result in a blonder cookie closer to a gingersnap whereas cocoa powder will give your cookie a dark brown colour.

Melted Butter vs. Softened Butter

Melted butter leads to more chewy cookies whereas softened butter leads to fluffier more cake-like cookies.

Turn Up The Heat!!

If you love spice and want to add a little bit of heat to accompany these bold coffee and chocolate flavours, add 1/2 teaspoon or more of cayenne pepper to your cookie recipe. My toddlers loved them with and without the cayenne.

Batch and Storage

Depending on the size of scoop you use, this recipe will yield 30 small cookies or 15-18 large cookies.

Cookies can be cooked and frozen for up to 3 months if stored in an airtight container or bag.

I don’t know about you but I love a freshly baked cookie- not to mention the cozy smell that fills the house. Scoop the dough balls out onto a cookie sheet and freeze them overnight. Transfer to an airtight bag once they are frozen and take a few out to enjoy whenever the mood strikes! Preheat your oven as normal but allow the dough balls to sit on the cookie sheet for about 30 minutes to come to room temp before baking.

How to Make Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Step 1. Melt your butter. Once melted, pour it into a large mixing bowl and add the espresso powder or instant coffee and make sure it is completely dissolved.

Step 2. Add cocoa, one cup of sugar, vanilla, and molasses and mix for two minutes on medium speed. Add the egg and mix until it is fully combined.

Step 3. In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.

Step 4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it for one hour in the fridge or for up to three days.

Step 5. Once the dough is chilled and you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Step 6. Scoop cookie dough balls onto a plate. One at a time, roll them in your hands and then into sugar. Place them on your baking sheet at least 2 1/2 inches apart.

Step 7. For small cookies, bake for 8-10 minutes. Darker baking sheets tend to cook faster. For large cookies, cook for 12-14 minutes. Let them cool for five minutes to firm up before enjoying!

Chocolate Espresso Cookies-Recipe Card

Overhead view of chocolate espresso cookis on a piece of parchment surrounded by coffee beans. A glass of milk in the foreground.

Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Have your coffee and eat it too with these crackled chocolate espresso cookies.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 42 cookies (approx.)
Calories 82 kcal

Equipment

  • small cookie scoop (optional)
  • large cookie scoop (optional)
  • Baking Sheet

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup melted butter Make sure that it isn't too hot or it will cook your eggs!
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fancy molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup regular or decorating sugar to roll the cookie balls in
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper **optional**

Instructions
 

  • Melt your butter. Once melted, pour it into a large mixing bowl and add the espresso powder or instant coffee and make sure it is completely dissolved.
  • Add cocoa, one cup of sugar, vanilla, and molasses and mix for two minutes on medium speed. Add the egg and mix until it is fully combined.
  •  In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it for one hour in the fridge or for up to three days.
  • Once the dough is chilled and you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Scoop cookie dough balls onto a plate. One at a time, roll them in your hands and then into sugar. Place them on your baking sheet at least 2 1/2 inches apart.
  • For small cookies, bake for 8-10 minutes. Darker baking sheets tend to cook faster. For large cookies, cook for 12-14 minutes. Let them cool for five minutes to firm up before enjoying!

Notes

Calories calculated using My Fitness Pal calculator.
Keyword chocolate espresso cookies, espresso, espresso cookies

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Two of my favourite things come together in a cookie! So glad I found this recipe they are a new family favourite

  2. 5 stars
    Coffee and Chocolate IN A COOKIE~! I saw these on Pinterest and I had to try them, those are literally my 3 favorite C words.
    Not only are they bea-u-tiful, they are so darn good. I made them with cocoa powder instead of hot chocolate mix and the flavor is so intense and delish. I also added a pinch of cayenne and it’s amazing – hits like a little bit of warmth on the palate without being spicy. Highly recommend.

  3. 5 stars
    I love the combination of the coffee/ chocolate such a natural paring and a great dessert treat. Five stars in my opinion all day!

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