Espresso Orange Butter Cookies

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

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. Reserve.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  3. Incorporate the dissolved instant coffee, orange zest, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, and orange oil.
  4. Beat in the egg yolks until creamy.
  5. With the mixer off, add the flour mixture, and then mix only briefly until incorporated.
  6. 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.)
  7. Using a soft pastry brush, brush each cookie gently with beaten egg white.
  8. Press a chocolate chip into the center of each cookie.
  9. Bake at 350° until cookies are lightly browned at the edges, about 10-12 minutes.
  10. Remove from the baking sheets and cool on wire racks.
  11. 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.

There’s More

Follow along as we bake this year’s cookie collection, and check out our past two collections:

Copyright 2010 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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  4. says

    I am in love with your blog and these cookie recipes! I made the Espresso Orange cookies-they did spread a bit and I had to keep the cookie press (1950’s family press made of USA stainless steel) and dough in the refrigerator between baking. The egg white glaze makes them look very professional and the taste of the spices and oragne lingers in your mouth-my church makes “care packages” for our college students during their finals which they share with their dorm mates-it’s “Cookie Evangelism” and your cookie is now part of our tradition! Thank you-cannot wait to make another recipe this weekend!

    • Susan S. Bradley says

      You made my day, Michelle, thank you! :-) You are so right to keep the dough cold before baking. I am adding that baking note to all cookie recipes moving forward (after poor Jennifer had a spreading disaster with Peppermint Stick Shortbread cookies). What a lovely idea to think of college students taking their finals. I remember those days well, and we would have pounced upon such generosity. Tonight was cookie seven. Five more to go. :-)

  5. Akira says

    Hi, I came again at Christmas time =D this cookies seems like my favorite dark choco and orange ice cream from Haagen Daaz :3 nicest ever!

    • Susan S. Bradley says

      Akira, so glad you found your way back! Wow, Haagen Daz has an ice cream with these flavors? I think the nearest shop is 30 miles away, but I’m on my way now. :-)

      • akira says

        They started selling that flavor last year as a Christmas special =D But apparently we loved it so much they started selling year round! hope you enjoy it!

        • Susan S. Bradley says

          Akira, thanks for reminding me. I still haven’t gotten to the University District to try this flavor. Soon though, soon.

    • Susan S. Bradley says

      Evgeny, good call on using finely ground expresso beans rather than instant. And hey, your cookies look better than mine! No fair. :-)


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