For my own variation of the classic meduoliai grybukai cookie from Lithuania I kneaded some instant espresso powder through the gingerbread-like dough. I am not a great fan of coffee made from powder, but I do like using it in baking. Cookies get a better, more intense coffee flavor from powder than when you use ‘real’ strong espresso. Adding real espresso means adding more water to the dough. The amount of dry ingredients you have to add to get a good cookie dough consistency will weaken the flavor. The strong espresso taste goes well with the other aromatic fall flavors in this cookie and gives it a nice kick. If you roll out the dough nice and thin the result will be a crunchy cookie. Rolling it out thicker will give you a soft and chewy cookie. In need of a stronger caffeine boost? Brush the espresso cookie with some coffee icing after it has cooled completely.
For about 20 cookies
100 grams (½ cup) butter
100 grams (½ cup) sugar
100 grams (⅓ cup) honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1¼ teaspoons instant espresso powder
400 grams (2¾ cups) flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg + 1 egg white
50 milliliters (¼ cup) sour cream
160 grams (1 cup) icing sugar
In a saucepan melt the butter with the sugar, the honey, the ground cinnamon, the ground nutmeg, the ground cloves and 1 teaspoon espresso powder. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
In a bowl mix the flour with the salt and the baking soda. Add the warm butter mixture.
Add 1 egg and the sour cream and knead into a smooth dough.
Leave the dough to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F. Between 2 sheets of baking paper roll out the dough to about ½ cm/¼ inch for a thin, crunchy cookie or to about 1 cm/½ inch for a softer, chewy cookie. Cut out the dough with a cookie cutter and place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and bake them in the middle of the oven for about 20 mins. until golden brown. Leave to cool on a rack.
Mix the egg white with the icing sugar and the rest of the espresso powder into a thick icing. Keep stirring until the espresso powder has dissolved. Brush the cookies with the icing after they have cooled completely.
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