Last week, with sweltering temperatures threatening to break the triple digits, I waited until almost dusk to head out on my afternoon walks. I usually blitz through the park at the end of the street, past the excitedly shouting kids chasing each other around the playground, to reach the quiet solitude of the empty residential streets beyond.
As I powered through on Wednesday night, focusing on my cell to dial my mom’s number, a familiar voice broke through my concentration and stopped me mid-pace. “Wave hi to Amy!”
I turned towards the play structure and spotted the only two figures in the park: my old boss’s wife and their 15-month-old daughter. The little girl giggled from the baby swings, while the mother raised her hand in a friendly greeting. I smiled and clicked off my phone, turned around, and strolled over to say hello.
Despite my original intention of arriving home before the slew of sporting events started airing on TV, I ended up chatting with her for 20 minutes! As my first time seeing Baby A since last summer, her full head of hair and big toothy grin completely tugged at my heartstrings. I just couldn’t leave!
The little girl kept bringing her hands together in the baby sign language motion for “more,” so her mom continued to gently push her the entire time we talked. Occasionally, Baby A would stretch out her tiny hand to reach towards me, and I’d hold out my palm for her to touch in a soft high-five. Such a precious gift in my busy evening!
These Cinnamon-Spiced Coffee Cookies are also a sweet treat! With the flavor of my old boss’s favorite drink acting as the backdrop and paired with the warmth of cinnamon, these cookies taste like the aromas lingering in the air of a coffee shop as the baristas sing out the melodic beverage names. Made with entirely wholesome ingredients, these soft and chewy sweets are something you can feel good about eating—they’re clean-eating friendly and skinny too!
This healthy cookie recipe is one of the easiest you’ll ever make. You don’t even need a mixer! Just whisk the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another; then stir them together. You’ll have fewer dishes to wash without the mixer, which is always a good thing in my kitchen!
To avoid pulling out a mixer, you’ll use melted butter instead. Even though I’ve included it in most of my other clean-eating cookie recipes, do NOT substitute coconut oil! Unlike butter, coconut oil’s melting point is too low to dissolve the instant coffee crystals, so they stay very solid and refuse to incorporate. Learn from my mistake: only use butter (or a good-quality margarine like Earth Balance Buttery Spread).
Even in the butter and egg mixture, the instant coffee crystals still take a while to dissolve. I whisked for 3-5 minutes before they full incorporated! The instant coffee tends to clump onto your whisk or fork, so occasionally scrape it off with a spatula to help it dissolve faster. If after 5 minutes, you still see a small lump or two in your bowl, it’s okay to throw out those tiny blobs. You should still have enough coffee flavor without them!
Note: Instant coffee and coffee grounds are not the same thing. Instant coffee is regular coffee that has already been brewed then converted to a solid concentrated form. It’s usually found near regular coffee grounds in the grocery store.
Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. Because of the extra liquid from the maple syrup, the dough is incredibly sticky after initially mixing everything together. If you immediately popped it in the oven, it’d spread out into one gigantic cookie on the baking sheet! (Remember these?)
So plan ahead and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. For the cookies in these photos, I left the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes then shaped it into rounded, almost spherical mounds on the baking sheet. They basically looked as tall as they were wide! Use your favorite silicon spatula to shape the dough; it will still stick to your fingers after chilling if you try to roll or touch it.
Here’s my secret to extra soft & chewy cookies: slightly underbake the dough; then leave the cookies on the warm baking sheet to cool after removing them from the oven. The centers continue to cook through without the outsides turning crisp and crunchy. It’s my favorite cookie-baking trick and helps them stay soft for an entire week!
With their light hint of maple and cozy cinnamon, these soft and chewy Cinnamon-Spiced Coffee Cookies are an irresistible treat any time of day! Slowly nibble on one in the morning with your steaming latte, or serve up one over cold vanilla ice cream in the evening and dive in with a spoon.
Just suggestions, of course! Not like I’d know from personal experience or anything… ♥