These espresso chocolate chip cookies are nothing like you've ever had before. Rich, buttery, and packed with espresso, they're the cookie of your dreams.
Why you'll love it
This cookie is an upgraded version of my already delicious coffee chocolate chip cookies and my popular brown butter chocolate chip cookies. It is also somewhat inspired by a couple of cookie recipes I feature in my cookbook Cookie School in that is combines the flavors of brown butter and espresso together in a way that truly transforms each bite of the cookie.
They're so easy to make because they are a one bowl recipe with no stand mixer required. You can whip up the dough in minutes and be enjoying cookies not too long after.
Chocolate and coffee are the perfect combination together. Coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate and also removes any hint of bitterness you might find in either ingredient making it great for everyone, not just coffee lovers.
- Butter - For the best and most consistent results, you should always use unsalted butter. Luckily because we are making brown butter, you don't have to worry about leaving the butter at room temperature before baking.
- Sugar - The recipe calls for both granulated and brown sugar to create a delicious complex flavor profile. You can use all brown sugar, but I find you get the best texture using both.
- Espresso - Instant espresso is just a wonderful way to add depth and dimension to just about any dessert. Here it gives these cookies an incredible coffee flavor that pairs wonderfully with chocolate chunks. You can also use espresso grounds here if you are unable to find the instant version. Just keep in mind that ground coffee is not a good substitute. Instant coffee works well though.
- Chocolate - Semi-sweet and dark chocolate work the best with the flavor profile here. If possible, use chopped chocolate bars over chocolate chips. Milk chocolate is too sweet and does not pair as well with the brown butter and espresso. If you can find espresso chips, try adding them to your dough to really enhance that espresso flavor.
- Egg - This recipe uses one whole egg and an egg yolk. The extra yolk adds more moisture and richness to the dough.
How to make
Espresso chocolate chip cookies are pretty simple to put together and require only a few simple steps.
- Cook your butter until it is a deep amber color and smells nutty. Remove from heat immediately then add in the instant espresso before pouring into the large bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the sugars to the butter and beat using a paddle attachment until well-combined.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Mix in your dry ingredients.
- Fold in the chocolate.
- Chill your dough for at least an hour up to three days.
- Portion out even-sized cookie dough balls and place at least 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake in your preheated oven until the edges are a golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
How to make brown butter
If you've never browned butter before, it is a very easy process that gives these espresso chocolate chip cookies its complex flavor.
- Use a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan on medium heat and add your butter.
- Cook until your melted butter begins to foam and bubble.
- Stir constantly until you notice the butter starts to turn a beautiful golden brown and give off an irresistible nutty aroma.
- Take the saucepan off the heat immediately and transfer the butter to your bowl so it can cool and stop the caramelization process.
Amanda's expert baking tips
The most important way to ensure you get the best results is to make sure you are correctly measuring your ingredients, particularly the all-purpose flour. You should fluff up the flour and then spoon it into your measuring cup then sweep of the excess. If you want to make sure you get consistent results, you can convert the recipe to metric and use a kitchen scale.
You want to take your brown butter right to the edge of almost being too cooked. The darker the brown butter, the better the flavor. But you don't want the butter to burn because then it can taste bitter which is not what you want. Look out for a rich amber color and remove it from heat immediately. The butter will continue to brown for a little longer before it begins to cool.
Measure out your cookie dough using a cookie scoop. It might not seem like a big deal, but there is in fact, an ideal cookie size to make sure you get the best texture. For crisp edges and a soft, chewy interior you don't want a cookie that is too big or too small. In my opinion, that is 2 tablespoons, or 1oz.
Don't skip the chilling process. You will get the best texture and flavor development the longer you let the cookies chill in the refrigerator. Overnight is best, but if you can handle it, three days is the sweet spot for the absolute best cookies. If you absolutely cannot wait that long and trust me, I get it, then at least 1 - 2 hours will be enough for them to be firm enough to not spread a ton in the oven.
If you want to take things to the next level, you can finish the cookies off with a sprinkling of flaky salt.
You can keep baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They may also be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
If you want to freeze unbaked cookie dough, portion out tablespoons of dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1 - 2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to a month. You can read more about freezing cookie dough in my easy guide.
Yes, you can use both instant coffee or ground espresso. You cannot use ground coffee, however, because the grounds are too large and will leave you with a gritty texture.
Many grocery stores that have a decently stocked coffee aisle will have some. The most popular brand is Cafe Bustelo.
Yes! The resting period helps keep the dough from spreading too much in the oven. The longer you allow the cookie dough to chill, the better the flavor of the baked cookies because the flour gets time to hydrate and the flavors have time to develop.
Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup instant espresso
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped chocolate
- Heat the butter in a saucepan until it is all melted, dark amber in color, and the milk solids are caramelized. The butter should smell nice and nutty. Remove from heat and place in your bowl.
- Stir the instant espresso into the butter and set aside to cool.
- Mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Beat the butter and both sugars until well-combined.
- Add in the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Beat well.
- Stir in the flour mixture and mix until just combined,
- Fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Portion the cookie dough into balls that are 2 tablespoons big and set aside to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably overnight up to three days.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the cookie dough 2-inches apart on your baking sheets and bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Top with flaky sea salt while still warm