Guaranteed to bring a smile to any coffee lover’s face!
I spent an unplanned hour at a friend’s house this evening.
We met last April while serving on the jury for a small three-day trial. After the judge read the sentence and released us from the case, we exchanged numbers and promised to stay in contact. Barely a week or two later, I knocked on her door with a plate full of coffee cake, which led to cheesecake and cupcakes and cookie dough and about a third of everything I’ve posted since this spring.
Whenever her two kids spot me teetering up the driveway balancing trays of treats, they leave their neighborhood friends in the street and sprint up to the porch to see what I baked. And on the nearly every visit, they bargain with their mom, “They’re from Amy, so they’re healthy… Can we have another one before dinner?”
My heart melts each time!
Today we stood in my friend’s kitchen while they sampled two batches of new cookies. The conversation meandered all over the place, spanning territory from banana essence, facial baking burns, saving scabs (the fake Halloween kind), and parents laying eggs on Easter. By the time I left, my abs hurt and I could barely breathe. I haven’t laughed that much in months!
As I watched and listened to her kids, I realized that lots of the lack of laughter stems from aging into an adult. We grow guarded, instead of allowing our innocence and genuine emotions shine. We lose the courage to sing silly songs, bellow like an elk, or run outside on a whim to toss a Frisbee or kick around a soccer ball. (All of which happened in those 60 minutes tonight.)
That, and I just don’t have a kid’s energy anymore!
Which is where these Toffee Coffee Cookies come in. Although they contain only a smidgen of the caffeine of your usual morning mug, they still have the same earthy and irresistible flavor that’ll boost your energy levels sky high!
To mix up the dough, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch in a bowl. Yes, cornstarch. Although generally used to thicken soups and sauces, when added to cookies, the cornstarch keeps them really soft. Even after a week, this batch tasted as soft as the day I pulled them from the oven!
Next, melt the butter and immediately stir in the instant coffee crystals. You want to mix them together while the butter is hot because the instant coffee dissolves better in warm liquids. Do NOT use brewed coffee; it will make the dough too moist and tacky.
Now add in the egg whites (discard the yolks to keep the cookies healthier!), vanilla, and brown sugar. The brown sugar adds extra moisture, which increases the cookies’ softness, as well as a subtle caramel undertone to the flavor. After mixing the dry ingredients into the wet, fold in most of the toffee, cover the dough, and chill.
Chilling is mandatory. It allows the gluten to relax, the moisture to absorb, and keeps the cookies soft. (Can you tell how excited I am about the cookies’ soft texture?) Although the recipe suggests to refrigerate for at least 2 hours, I highly recommend 4 hours or more. Even overnight!
Just before baking, shape the dough into slightly flattened balls, press a few toffee bits into the tops, and pop into the oven for 9-11 minutes. No more! They may look underdone, but they’ll continue to set and bake a bit as they sit on the warm cookie sheet.
Sinking your teeth into one of these Toffee Coffee Cookies is like biting a cloud. Or a pillow. It’s as if you settled into your padded easy chair and cuddled up with a fleecy blanket. So soft, with the perfect touch of comforting coffee and kiss of sweetness.
Move over chocolate chip—these are my new favorite obsession cookies. I’m already searching for new cookie jars to store my huge stash!