Chocolate-Covered Espresso Bean Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl down and beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl in spoonfuls, mixing on low until combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans and chocolate chips. Batter will be very thick.
Scoop rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, spacing them 2 inches apart. Place a whole espresso bean on half the cookies. Bake for 8 - 8 1/2 minutes, just until pale golden. Don't overbake! Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet then cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and espresso powder (1/2 tablespoon yields a pretty subtle coffee flavor - use the full tablespoon for a more pronounced flavor) until the espresso powder is dissolved in the cream cheese (2-3 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the milk, and beat for another minute until smooth and creamy. Cover and set aside until ready to use.
Take the cookies that are not topped with an espresso bean and turn them over. Scoop a dollop of filling onto each (about a tablespoon), and top with the cookie with the espresso bean. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Refrigerate any leftover filling for another recipe.
Chill the cookies in the fridge for about an hour to firm up the filling a little. Serve with coffee, hot chocolate, port, or dessert wine.
Yields about 3 dozen cookies / 18 cookie sandwiches.
White Chocolate Mocha Cookies: Use white chocolate chips instead of bittersweet chocolate.
Chocolate Chocolate-Covered Espresso Cookies: Swap out 1/2 cup of flour for 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: Use all butter for the cookie batter instead of butter and cream cheese (1 1/2 sticks butter). Omit the chocolate covered espresso beans and use a full cup of chocolate chips. Omit the filling.
Chocolate Espresso Filling: Swap out 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
For a lighter cookie: Omit the filling and add a tablespoon of espresso powder to the cookie batter instead.
From Curly Girl Kitchen.