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Food Bytes PG Cookbook The Food Chain
Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Coffee Bean Cookies

Candy coffee beans decorate these flavorful cookies and add just the right taste of chocolate. Chocolate-covered coffee beans are available at coffee stores and many supermarkets. These are great with coffee. This recipe is easily doubled and fun for cookie exchanges. The recipe came from "The Cookie Jar Cookbook" by Steffi Berne.

2 cups flour (sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
1 egg yolk, graded large
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
Chocolate coffee bean candies

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg yolk. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with the dissolved coffee, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. The dough will be very sticky. Cover bowl and chill dough for at least 15 minutes so it will be easier to handle.

When you are ready to bake, position 2 oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or aluminum foil, shiny side up.

Using a measuring spoon and a tiny rubber spatula, drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto lined cookie sheets about 21/2 to 3 inches apart. These spread a lot. With back of a cold, wet spoon, flatten cookies, taking care to keep shape as even and round as possible. Dip spoon in cold water as often as necessary to keep it from sticking to dough. Gently press a candy coffee bean into center of each cookie.

Bake 2 sheets at a time for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. The top of the cookie should just spring back when gently pressed with your finger. Rotate sheets front-to-back and top-to-bottom after 6 minutes to ensure even baking. (The cookies will need slightly less baking if you have not used the coffee beans.) Allow cookies to rest on parchment or foil for a few minutes before transferring them with a metal spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight cookie jar or tin. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

-- By Suzanne Martinson, PG food editor

Originally published on Sunday, December 13, 1998

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