Tips: One dough is divided for each flavored half of these
slice-and-bake cookies; the halves are then combined, and each cookie
ends up with a unique pattern. These are thin and crisp and on the
small side, and they're not too rich, so they're a great cookie
to nibble with coffee or tea.
The dough must be well-chilled before these are sliced, and I have
found it helpful to freeze each roll for 15 to 30 minutes before
slicing. Don't let the rolls freeze all the way through, however,
as they will be too hard to slice. Once the rolls have been made,
they can sit in the fridge for a day or two, tightly wrapped. Store
the baked cookies airtight at room temperature for at least 12 hours
(this allows their flavor to develop). The baked cookies can stay
at room temperature for a day or three, and they freeze nicely if
longer storage is required.
- 1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
- 3 Tbsp. milk, divided
- 2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg, graded large
- 1/4 cup sifted unsweetened alkalized (Dutch processed) cocoa
Combine coffee granules in small cup with 1 Tbsp. milk (reserve
remainder). Stir well; allow to stand at room temperature till needed.
Into medium bowl, sift 2-1/4 cups flour (reserve remainder), baking
powder, and salt; set aside.
In small bowl of electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla
until well-mixed and fluffy. Scrape bowl and beater(s) often. Add
egg; beat in well. At a low speed, add about half of sifted dry
ingredients, then add 1 Tbsp. milk (again reserving remainder).
Add remaining half of sifted dry ingredients and beat just until
Divide dough in half, leaving one half in mixer bowl and transferring
other half into a medium mixing bowl. Cover dough in medium bowl;
set aside until needed. To dough still in mixer bowl, add dissolved
coffee-milk and remaining 1/4 cup sifted flour. At a low speed,
beat until dough is an even color. Remove from mixer; cover this
To dough in medium mixing bowl, add remaining 1 Tbsp. milk and
sifted cocoa powder. With large spoon, stir in until dough is an
even color. (It might be necessary to knead either dough briefly
with your hands to get an even color, but do so as little and as
quickly as possible).
Tear off two sheets of wax paper, each about a foot long. Form each
dough into a rough log, about 6 inches long, on a piece of wax paper.
Divide each log in half lengthwise, then place one half of each
dough with a half of the other. Make sure the two halves of each
new log are well-joined; I like to twist the doughs together to
create interesting patterns, but it isn't a necessity. Again, handle
the dough as little as possible here. Wrap each log tightly in wax
paper (I roll them up in it, then twist the ends shut) and chill
45 to 60 minutes.
After dough has chilled, unroll one log at a time and re-shape
it with your hands if necessary. You want each log 6 inches in length;
if it's difficult for you to get a good round shape, try forming
a square cylinder of dough 6 inches long. And remember it's not
important for the shape to be absolutely perfect. Wrap the logs
or cylinders tightly in wax paper once more, and chill for at least
Fifteen to thirty minutes before you want to start slicing the
cookies to bake them, transfer one log to the freezer. Adjust rack
to center of oven; preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets
with aluminum foil, shiny side up.
Remove partially-frozen log and unwrap it enough to slice it. I
leave the log on the wax paper wrapping and put both on a cutting
board. With a large, heavy, straight-edged, very sharp knife, cut
slices of the dough 3/16ths of an inch thick. I cut two at a time,
then place the sliced dough onto the cookie sheet; once the slices
soften, they're difficult to move. These don't spread much, and
I place fifteen on a 15-1/2 by 10-1/2 inch sheet. You can slice
up to two sheets' worth of cookies at once, but if you do more in
advance, the dough starts drying out before you bake it. Re-wrap
the unsliced dough, and place it in the freezer if you'll be slicing
more within a half-hour and in the fridge if you won't.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven
for 8 to 9 minutes, turning cookie sheet back-to-front once about
halfway during baking time. The edges of the coffee dough will be
a light golden bown when the cookies are done. Remove from oven;
immediately remove cookies to cooling rack (they'll be soft when
hot, but will crisp as they cool). Continue slicing and baking the
cookies as needed. Cool completely before storing.
Store baked cookies airtight at room temperature for at least 12
hours to allow flavor to develop. Keep them at room temperature
for up to three days; freeze for longer storage.
Yields: 7 to 8 dozen cookies
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