Sometimes you just need a cookie.
And the occasional fairy tale.
This past weekend I spent time with both. As a collector of the old sort of fairy tales, I can tell you they have a definite adult edge. Most aimed to teach children the consequences of bad behavior with scare tactics and not-so-happy endings. It’s a far cry from the stories today that are meant to calm and lull children to sleep. I find them so interesting, comparatively.
So, what goes with a grown-up fairy tale? An equally grown-up dark chocolate and coffee flavored cookie. I’ve never been happier to sweep cookie crumbs from those pages of folklore.
Hours later, the caramel bug bit me -again! I whipped up a batch of easy caramel frosting, and soon after was making caramel-filled-mocha-swirl-sandwiches. Dreamy.
Mocha Swirl Cookies
Yield: 40 cookies [printable version]
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee (I used Starbucks’ VIA)
2 oz. Dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy.
- Gradually add sugar to butter while mixer is running.
- Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and mix again until incorporated.
- With mixer on low speed, gradually add in flour mixture until just combined.
- Remove dough from mixer and divide into two even portions. Dough should not be sticky.
- Return half of the dough to the mixer and add the instant coffee. Mix until combined and dough is speckled with coffee granules. Use finely powdered instant coffee like Starbucks’ VIA, or you may choose to grind standard instant coffee finer in a food processor. Espresso powder would also work well in this recipe. Remove coffee dough from mixer.
- Return the other half of dough to the mixer and add the melted chocolate. Mix until well combined.
- Roll out each dough separately between two sheets of wax paper – approximately 1/4″ thick. Each piece should be a 9 x14″ rectangle. Chill on baking sheets in the refrigerator, at least 1 hour.
- When dough is thoroughly chilled, top chocolate dough with coffee dough. Gently press together the two dough pieces using a rolling pin.
- Let dough stand at room temperature until malleable.
- Use a knife to even one side (down the 14″ length) of the dough. This gives you a nice even start for the spiral.
- Roll dough tightly, jelly-roll fashion, using the wax paper to guide the dough. The chocolate portion of dough usually tears a little when rolling. When this happens – STOP- and pinch the dough back together before you continue to roll. Remember, this is not a race to see how fast you can roll the dough. Do this slowly and deliberately.
- Cover the dough roll in wax paper, then in a length of plastic wrap. Chill thoroughly, at least 1 hour. Turn the dough halfway through chilling to make sure it doesn’t become flat on one side.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from refrigerator, uncover and slice in half with a sharp knife. Place half of dough back in the refrigerator to keep cold.
- Cut dough into 1/4″ rounds.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
Sweet Caramel Frosting
Yield: about 2 1/2 cups frosting [printable version]
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 – 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, cubed butter, milk and pinch of salt.
- Place over medium heat and bring to a bubble.
- Let mixture boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Let mixture cool in the refrigerator until barely warm.
- Place caramel in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Whisk caramel for 1 minute at high speed.
- Add confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until just combined, then beat at high speed for an additional 1-2 minutes.
This mixture will fill 20 sandwich cookies, or frost 18 cupcakes.
YUP those pretty much sound incredibly delish… and they look so pretty too. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Bella 🙂
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These cookies look fabulous, especially with the caramel frosting! I love your photography as usual.
SO beautiful! You are pretty dang talented girl. I adore these!
Oh my goodness! Those are just gorgeous! The cookies, the pictures, the recipe…it's all perfection. ♥
yes indeed you have mad skills
these are perfectly rolled.
i made these swirl cookies once with toffee bits in them and they were so good.
i think, after seeing your photos, I see how I can make the lines more cleaner. you made the doughs exact same size. duh a duh moment for me lol
Loveeee the look of these!
These look incredible! Not to mention, so pretty!
Be still my heart – those look amazing! Yum. (Also, ditto on the fairy tales. Those things were serious business.)
If I did that the swirls would be all warped! As always these look perfect. The caramel frosting I think is the real showstopper!
Awwww, those are so pretty and perfect! You are definitely a perfectionist. Great clicks too.
Preciosas las galletas, me encantan.
After combining chocolate and caramel in some pots de creme this past weekend, I'm itchin' for more chococaramel delights!
Add in the coffee, and kablamo, what a cookie!
These look so amazing! And they sound great. You are so talented 🙂
BEAUUUUUTIFULLL! Bet they taste good too…
an elegant cookie & the taste must be awesome.
the dough looks so wonderful & rolled out to perfection.
when does your cookbook debut? cannot wait!
Wow. Those are perfect. Seriously. My Inferiority Complex is shouting at me.
Those look awesome! I tried to make rolled cookies once. Let's just say they looked NOTHING like yours! You are so talented!
I can't tell which I'm most intrigued by… the cookie or the book! Those photos are amazing. We miss you!
These cookies look amazing! I want a few with a glass of milk and a fairy tale before bed! How sweet is that!?
These look awesome! I love the idea of sandwiching them with caramel frosting. Just out of curiousity, are these more of a crispy or chewy cookie?
Dang, these looked good before, but this the frostng they look even more delectable! Yummy, yummy!
The caramel frosting looks SO smooth:) I love homemade sandwich cookies and your perfect spirals put them in another beautiful realm! Have a wonderful week, Heather! 🙂
Each one a perfect swirl and I just adore the idea of a grown-up dark chocolate and coffee flavored cookie to go with the fairy tales of yore! (I must look up the one you have pictured.) And caramel anything is always a welcome addition. Mmmmmm xoxo ~Lili
Easy caramel frosting, fairy tales, swirly cookies and a giant pot of coffee. Heavenly 🙂
I think I'm ALWAYS in need of a cookie- especially one of these perfectly formed chocolate, mocha and caramel spirals!
I've made similar swirl cookies with chocolate and vanilla dough… made them into checkerboard cookies too. Your cookies ooze perfection – magazine worthy!
wow. Those SO neat. Caramel frosting. I need to make this to impress myself as soon as possible
Does that taste soft? It does look soft to me. Looks of a perfect cookies.
These are mesmerizing. I love caramel anything and that frosting looks heavenly.
Your swirls have come out just perfectly! I tried something similar once and just ended up with yummy, but smooshed, wiggles 🙂 The flavours going on here are delicious sounding too, lovely photos!
Estupenda receta y fantásticas fotos.
These are beautiful! Thanks for this!
For those asking… these cookies are ever-so-slightly chewy and soft. They should be stored in an air-tight container or in a zip-top bag with the air removed.
Thank you! xoxo
I absolutely cannot wait to try these!! I didn't realize from the pic on FB that the filling is caramel.
OMG Caramel AND Coffee??!!!
I just don't know what could possibly be any better.
Thanks for posting!!
And I totally agree on the fairy tales.
Love the look of the swirl, and then I saw the caramel frosting. Fantastic! I have to try these.
Your swirls are so perfectly swirled!! These are beautiful, and they sound delicious.
These are perfection in both presentation and taste. Job well done. Th are even too pretty to eat. Gorgeous pictures!!
These cookies are so pretty! I love the idea of the caramel frosting center.
These are the most perfect swirl cookies I've ever seen and that caramel frosting sounds to die for! I can't wait to try these..
These look so sinfully delicious, and absolutely beautiful photos!
The contrast is gorgeous. They look wonderful 🙂
Just like in the fairy tales, there's always a happy ending. Your cookies are beautiful, the accompanying post is poetic.
"East of the Sun and West of the Moon" was one of my favorite stories as a child! I need to go re-read it (preferably while eating a caramel-filled mocha swirl cookie!).
Thank you for this reminder to read fairy tales as adults. The book East of the Sun and West of the Moon is both scary and beautiful at the same time, and the illustrations are divine!
love your pictures, your recipes and your site!!
wow, these look fantastic!!! i want to make swirl cookies one day too!
These swirls look perfect! I'm not sure I could ever roll something so pretty. The recipe sounds delicious too! Yum!
East of the Sun, West of the Moon is one of my favorite stories! East by Edith Pattou is a wonderful spin on the fairy tale. =] and these cookies look so pretty! I want to make them for my mum. She loves mocha and caramel. I bet she'd adore the combination.
Your swirl cookies are so wonderful, so pretty and so mouth watering. I don't think I can make them as good as yours. Love the photos.
These look amazing!!!! 1 cup butter how many grams is? or do you mean melted butter? 🙂