Put some pep in Santa’s step with Iced Gingerbread Latte Cookies – the café-inspired treat that combines the warmth of gingerbread and rich coffee flavors.
Special Report: These Iced Gingerbread Latte Cookies are my new favorite cookie of the season. I have so many cookies on my ‘holiday favorites’ list, but this one goes right to the top. What makes them so great? First, I love the bold taste of coffee in baked goods. And there’s nothing subtle about the coffee flavor in these treats. They are absolutely loaded with cozy ginger and rich coffee flavors. Soft, with crackled tops, their middles are tender and fudgy in texture. The coffee glaze sets to a shine on top, and a few grains of coarse sea salt makes them absolutely crave-worthy!
Make the Dough
I love that this dough mixes up in one bowl! To get started, melt the butter in a big heatproof mixing bowl in the microwave. You can also do this in a saucepan on the stovetop. Immediately add instant espresso powder and ground spices to the warm butter. This is important! The butter needs to be warm in order to dissolve the espresso powder.
Whisk everything together, then add the sweeteners: molasses, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk these ingredients in until well combined. This may take a couple of minutes. Because it takes a little extra whisking for the thick, syrupy molasses to incorporate. Also, add the salt at this stage.
Next, add 1 large egg, vanilla extract, and baking soda to the bowl. Whisk well to combine.
Finally – the flour! Add the flour to the bowl and mix on low speed. I used a hand mixer, which worked well and quickly. You could probably stir by hand, but this dough is thick and will take a few minutes to get smooth.
When smooth and thick, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight).
Shape the Cookies
Scoop the chilled dough by the 1/8 cup, or 2 tablespoons. Roll the dough into balls between your palms. This is a fun and easy job, because the chilled dough is so play-doh-like. Space the dough balls at least 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies at 375°F for about about 10 minutes. The ball shape will flatten, and the cookies should form cracks on top. They should be puffy when initially removed from the oven, and will deflate slightly as they cool.
Cool completely before icing. The cookies are pretty darn tasty un-iced, but OH, the icing! It’s so coffeelicious.
Make the Icing
Pour 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon high quality instant coffee and 3 tablespoons boiling water; whisk. For the coffee, I used Starbucks Blonde Roast Premium Instant.
You could use the same instant espresso powder that is used in the dough recipe, if you prefer. But start with a much smaller amount, about 1/4 teaspoon. And add more to taste. Why start with a small amount? Because espresso powder is stronger, and more concentrated in flavor than instant coffee.
Ice the Gingerbread Latte Cookies
There’s nothing to it! Just dip the cookies, crackled face down, into the warm icing, and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Turn the cookie upright. You’ll still have those gorgeous crackles! Everything else will be coated in glaze.
The icing will set up quickly! So, as you dip each cookie, sprinkle on a few grains of coarse sea salt immediately. If you wait too long, the salt will bounce right off. I have a bag of coarse light grey Celtic Sea Salt, and just a few grains does the trick. The salt is optional, but it will round out the sharpness or bitterness, in the coffee. (Read more here about why adding a pinch of salt to your coffee is a good idea!)
The cookie centers have a soft, almost fudgy texture, and the icing really ties everything together in a neat little package for coffee-lovers. Make these for someone who loves gingerbread lattes, or just your favorite coffee connoisseur!
Related recipe: Muddy Reindeer Cookies (Chocolate-Dipped Gingerbread Cookies)
Iced Gingerbread Latte Cookies
- large cookie sheets (2)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup instant espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 4 tablespoons molasses about 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons boiling water
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- Coarse grain sea salt
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter at 100% power until completely melted and hot (about 1 minute, to 1 minute 30 seconds). Immediately whisk in the espresso powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk well until completely incorporated.
- Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses, and salt to the bowl, and whisk to combine, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Whisk well until smooth. Add the flour and mix using an electric hand mixer on low speed. Mix until a thick consistent batter/dough forms. Do not over beat at this stage, or your cookies won't have that crackle on top.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight (and up to 2 days before baking). The chilled dough will be firm and pliable like clay or play-doh.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough by the level 1/8 cup, or 2 tablespoons. Roll into a ball between your palms and place on the parchment sheet. Place dough balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake each pan for 10 minutes. The dough balls will flatten as they bake, and the tops will become cracked. Remove and let cool on the pans until firm enough to transfer to wire racks, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
- Put the tea kettle on for the boiling water.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and the instant coffee. When the water boils, add 3 tablespoons of boiling water to the mixture and whisk until the coffee is dissolved and creamy coffee hue is achieved.
- Dip a cookie crackled face-down into the icing. Let the excess drip back into the bowl and turn upright. Place on a wire rack and sprinkle a few grains of the coarse sea salt on the cookie before the icing sets. Repeat with the remaining cookies. The icing will want to form a crust if it stands for too long, so use it immediately, or cover it with a damp paper towel to prevent drying.
- Allow cookies to stand until the icing sets completely, about 20 minutes. Serve to delighted coffee lovers and gourmands.