I first saw these coffee bean cookies on a Japanese food blog and knew I had to make them. First of all, I mean come on, they’re pretty adorable. And second, I love coffee flavored cookies (and drinks…a la the best Espresso Martini ever). Now, I was a bit disappointed the first time I made them because even though I followed the recipe exactly I didn’t like the end result. Thus began my mission to create a new recipe, which is quite hard to do in baking, to perfect these coffee bean cookies.
These coffee bean cookies are a mix between a French sable, and a regular continental butter cookie. I like my cookies to have a firm outside with a soft inside. Out of the first two recipes I made, one was as dry as cardboard and one was squishy the whole way through. I knew I’ll need to create my own recipe if I want these cookies to be anything more than a cute showpiece.
Making The Coffee Bean Cookies Step By Step
To start, I creamed together room temperature butter and powdered sugar. This is one of the things I like about Japanese/Korean cookies, is that they use confectioner’s sugar for a lighter batter. Out of all the ratios I tested I found the best results with 105 grams of butter and 90 grams of powdered sugar. As with most baking it is important to weigh your ingredients.
Next I add one egg yolk and two tablespoons of ristretto (extra strong espresso) to the sugar/butter cream. Make sure the coffee is room temperature so it doesn’t cook the egg yolk when you add it. If you can’t make ristretto you can use espresso or even black drip, just know the flavor will be more muted. I’ve even used my Moka Pot which turns out great as well, although the coffee flavor is less strong. Many recipes I saw online called for instant coffee, or even a Nescafe 3-1, which I didn’t find as good.
Do note that the coffee flavor is not the prominent flavor in this recipe. It is meant to accompany and balance the chocolate. If you want to make a cookie that is very coffee forward I suggest using two drops of espresso propylene glycol. This is sometimes called ‘baker’s essence’ in America or ‘aroma’ in Europe. Don’t worry, it sounds chemically but it is just a flavor concentrate that is completely food safe. You can buy it here.
As you whisk all the ingredients together you’ll be imparting lots of air. This is good since there is no baking soda or other rising agent like self-rising flour. Once your mixture is well combined it’s time to add the dry ingredients.
Sift in 180 grams of AP Flour with 35 grams of Dutch Process cocoa powder and 5 grams of Vanilla powder. You will move from a whisk to a spatula for this part as the mixture gets quite thick. Roll out from the bowl onto a floured surface and knead quickly just for a minute. I do this to make sure there are no flour pockets left, and also to shape the dough into a tight ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, tightly, and place into the fridge for one (1) hour.
How To Shape The Coffee Bean Cookies
Remove the dough from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap. Quarter the dough and then roll out a piece into a long, thin log. Look at the picture above for approximate size. Take a piece and roll it into a ball in between your palms.
Roll the ball once in an up/down method between your palms to turn the ball into an oval, then use your thumb and forefinger to squish the pointed ends flat. Place on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking tray.
Use a very thin knife (I used a fish knife) to bisect the cookie a little less than half way down. You’ll notice as you press down it will round out the cookie shape, giving you the oh so iconic coffee bean appearance. The next step is super crucial to preserving the appearance, as well as making sure the cookies come out perfect every time. Place the baking tray in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 165 Celsius.
This next step is exact (well, like the entire recipe) so pay attention to your clock. Take the espresso flavored cookie dough out of the freezer and place them in the oven on a rack about 20 centimeters (8 inches) from the top. Bake at 165 Celsius for 12 minutes on convection. Remove from the oven and let sit on the pan on a counter top for 5 minutes before touching them.
I recommend the silicone mat over parchment paper, but that could just be personal preference. You will notice that the cookies have a tendency to squish if you touch them right as they leave the oven, which is why waiting 5 minutes is so important. To store the coffee bean cookies cookies, allow them to come to room temperature and then place them in a resealable container. You can leave them on the counter, no need for the refrigerator.
Serve these coffee bean cookies with a hot shot of espresso, or as a sweet treat to pair with afternoon finger sandwiches. You could even use one of these cookies to decorate the top of a Dalgona Coffee since the foamy top is so thick.
After nearly a dozen attempts to make coffee bean cookies, I’ve finally created a recipe I’m satisfied with. With real ristretto, and the perfect balance of chocolate and vanilla, these cookies make a great entertaining recipe for afternoon coffee. Let me know your opinions in the comments down below.
Coffee Bean Cookies
- Baking Tray
- Mixing Bowl
- Rubber Spatula
- 180 grams Flour AP
- 35 grams Cocoa Powder dutch process
- 105 grams Butter salted
- 90 grams Powdered Sugar aka confectioner's sugar
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 tbsp Espresso or even better, if you can, a ristretto
- 5 grams Vanilla Powder
- In a mixing bowl cream together the room temperature butter and the powdered sugar using a whisk. Add the egg yolk and room temperature ristretto (espresso) coffee and whisk to combine.105 grams Butter, 90 grams Powdered Sugar, 1 Egg Yolk, 2 tbsp Espresso
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and vanilla powder and add to the bowl. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula and pour onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly just to make sure there are no flour pockets and everything is well combined. Shape into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for one hour.180 grams Flour, 35 grams Cocoa Powder, 5 grams Vanilla Powder
- Remove from the refrigerator and take off the plastic. Divide in half or quarters (depending on your table size) and roll out a log about 2 cm in diameter. Cut pieces out every 1.5 cm. You'll be able to make about 36-40 total cookies.
- Roll a piece into a ball between your palms in a circular motion. Then roll between your palms once in an up down motion to turn the ball into an oval. Use your thumb and forefinger to squash the ends flat, and place the cookies on a silicone or parchment lined baking tray.
- Use a very thin knife to bisect the cookie balls a little less than half way down. If you don't have a super thin knife, then don't go as deep.
- Place the tray into the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 165 Celsius on convection.
- Take the cookies tray out of the freezer and place in the oven about 20 cm (8 inches) from the top. Bake for 12 minutes exactly, then remove the tray and place on your counter top. Let rest for 5 minutes before removing them from the tray.