Mocha Sugar Cookies

12 Days of Cookies: Day 2

Before I had kids I did not truly appreciate a good cup of coffee. Looking back I’m not sure how I survived my 2am study sessions and exams in college without it. I still consider myself a tea drinker, but early in the morning when we’re rushing around getting everyone ready for school or work and I’m nursing the baby (again) the caffeine kick from a cup of coffee is so needed.

Though this may seem like a basic sugar cookie recipe the espresso powder in this packs quite a punch. If you pair it with coffee extract it makes the flavor just that much richer.

You can roll these in plain sugar and they will turn out perfect. I took this as an opportunity to add more chocolate by mixing cocoa powder into my sugar. My oldest had fun helping me roll these in the chocolate sugar.

You will want to squish these down to ensure an even bake. I used a coffee mug (how fitting!) but you could use anything that has a flat bottom to flatten these evenly.

What’s the difference in using shortening versus butter in baking? Shortening has a higher melting point and will help your cookies maintain their shape during the baking process. When the shortening does melt it creates pockets of steam in the dough making it flakier. The downside is that butter adds a much richer flavor. I tend to only use shortening in recipes where other flavors are stronger like these coffee and chocolate flavored treats. My advice with these is to not eat too many before trying to go to bed!


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t coffee extract (or vanilla)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 t espresso powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 granulated sugar and 2 t cocoa powder set aside for rolling the cookies in prior to baking.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Mix together sugar and shortening until smooth.
  3. Add eggs one at a time making sure they are well incorporated. Add coffee extract.
  4. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. scrape the sugar mixture down off the sides of the bowl and then slowly add the dry ingredients.
  6. Roll dough into 2 inch balls and roll in sugar until evenly coated.
  7. Place on cookie sheet approximately three inches apart.
  8. Flatten cookies evenly.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies will start to crackle on top and this is how you’ll know they’re done.
  10. Let cookies sit on cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
  11. Store cookies in airtight container for up to one week or place in freezer.

This recipe yields approximately three dozen cookies depending upon size.

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