On the second day of Christmas … my true love gave to me … Espresso Orange Butter Cookies.
A twist of lemon peel with espresso is a classic pairing, but for supreme indulgence, I prefer orange peel and a spot of chocolate with a tiny pot of French press coffee. Ideally, the chocolate should enrobe the orange peel, which should of course be candied, as in this exquisite rendition.
And that combo, folks, is the inspiration for this decidedly adult cookie. I simply couldn’t resist putting three of my favorite flavors–coffee, orange, and dark chocolate–together in one delicious morsel. I’m actually surprised that I didn’t think of it years ago. Nevertheless, better late than never, as the saying goes.
Because I bake a dozen or more different cookies every Christmas, some of them must utilize a cookie press—as this one does. This cuts the shaping time down by more than half. Plus, pressed cookies require a soft dough, which saves at least 2 hours of chilling time. In fact, pressed cookies are so quick and easy to make that I keep a cookie press within easy reach all year long.
However, if you wish, you may also roll this cookie out to 1/8-inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters or shape it into a log and cut slices from that. For these shaping techniques, the dough must be refrigerated at least 2 hours before rolling or cutting.
Espresso Orange Butter Cookies
Crisp, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth, these very adult cookies are perfect for nibbling with espresso or French press coffee. And because they are so pretty, no one will know how easy they were to make but you.
2½ cups King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
1 package (1½ teaspoons) Starbuck’s Via Ready Brew Italian roast instant coffee (or other instant espresso) dissolved in 1 tablespoon orange juice (or water)
finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon orange oil (or ½ teaspoon orange extract)
2 egg yolks
1 large egg white, beaten lightly
premium quality, large chocolate chips
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. Reserve.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
- Incorporate the dissolved instant coffee, orange zest, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, and orange oil.
- Beat in the egg yolks until creamy.
- With the mixer off, add the flour mixture, and then mix only briefly until incorporated.
- Put the dough into a cookie press fitted with a flower disk, and force the cookies out onto a lightly greased baking sheet. (Parchment doesn’t work here as it lifts when you pull the press away.)
- Using a soft pastry brush, brush each cookie gently with beaten egg white.
- Press a chocolate chip into the center of each cookie.
- Bake at 350° until cookies are lightly browned at the edges, about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the baking sheets and cool on wire racks.
- Store cookies airtight, layered between wax paper rounds, in a cookie tin, in a cool, dry place. These cookies improve with age. They keep for 2-3 weeks. Cookies may also be frozen.
Makes about 7 dozen small cookies.
Follow along as we bake this year’s cookie collection, and check out our past two collections:
- Season 3: Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Silver Bells
- Season 2: Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Starry Night
- Season 1: Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Deck the Halls
Copyright 2010 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.