Cook's Illustrated came out with a recipe for sugar cookies that was incredible. This cookie is so chewy and has the perfect texture. It also has just a bit of cream cheese that gives it a nice tang - and a little bit better flavor than cream of tartar.
I decided to jazz things up a bit and turn these into an espresso flavored cookie. I added a bit of cold press and some ground espresso to the sugar coating, which added a nice, subtle coffee flavor. It will also add more caffeine to your afternoon, or morning, should you start indulging at breakfast. Something I would never look down on you for doing.
The coffee flavor is very subtle. If you want a more pronounced coffee flavor, you could try adding another tablespoon of brewed cold press/coffee, or else adding a teaspoon of ground espresso/coffee to the flour mixture.
2 1/4 cups [11 ounces] all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups [10 1/2 ounces] sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons [3/4 stick] unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cold press or strong brewed coffee, cool
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon finely ground espresso or coffee beans
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso or coffee beans in a shallow dish or pie plate. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour warm butter over the sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine [some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later]. Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, coffee and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces [about 2 tablespoons each]. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar and espresso to coat and evenly space on baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with the sugar remaining in the shallow dish [about 2 teaspoons per tray].
Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11-13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
recipe courtesy of: http://www.threadedbasil.com/2011/04/espresso-sugar-cookies.html