These Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies have layers upon layers of coffee and dark chocolate flavor packed in them with a hefty sprinkling of flaky espresso salt to top them off. Cookies like these are not to be missed. Share them with all your coffee-loving friends.
Calling all coffee lovers! This espresso chocolate chunk cookies recipe has your name all over it, friends.
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Coffee and Dark Chocolate are an ideal pairing
The flavors of coffee and dark chocolate pair together so very well. So why not incorporate them both into an indulgent cookie recipe?!
These espresso chocolate chunk cookies utilize coffee in many different ways to maximize the coffee flavor. There's no mistaking the flavor profile of these cookies when you take a bite, that's for sure!
I recommend, as always, using the highest quality ingredients you can afford to make the flavors of the espresso and dark chocolate really stand out in this recipe. Use high quality coffee or espresso beans and high quality dark chocolate bars to achieve those big pools of melted chocolate you see in the photos here.
I particularly like Ghirardelli, Guittard and Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Baking Bars for these cookies. If you want the really expensive stuff, go for Scharffen Berger or Callebaut dark chocolate.
(As always, I may receive a small commission if you decide to buy any of the products I recommend. Keep in mind I only recommend products I use myself and that come from brands I trust.)
How to Build Layers of Coffee Flavor
To achieve the most coffee flavor in these Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies, the recipe calls for using coffee in four different ways. The first is to infuse the butter with coffee or espresso flavor. To do so, melt the butter and throw in ½ a cup of whole coffee or espresso beans. Allow that to steep for 30-60 minutes.
Next, you'll add in both brewed espresso or coffee and instant espresso powder. I recommend brewing the coffee or espresso so that it's very strong. You won't be drinking this straight, so amp up the amount of coffee or espresso grounds used to brew the coffee and you'll be happy you did.
Lastly, just before baking, sprinkle a hefty dose of espresso salt on top. Espresso salt is simply equal parts espresso powder mixed with flaky sea salt. I was inspired by one of my go-to recipe bloggers, Tieghan from halfbakedharvest.com, for this little trick. I'm so happy with how the espresso salt helps maximize the flavors in the finished cookie here. I may just be using this in more recipes in the future - stay tuned!
Tips for Making Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- To achieve the most espresso/coffee flavor as possible in these cookies, don't skip the step where the butter gets infused with coffee beans. Allowing the melted butter to steep with coffee beans allows for an additional layer of coffee/espresso flavor to be built into these cookies. The butter will smell amazing and that flavor will translate really nicely to the baked cookie. I would also recommend using the highest quality coffee or espresso beans you can afford for this. You will be discarding them after infusing them into the butter, so keep that in mind when purchasing or using up your coffee beans for these Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- If you prefer a milder tasting espresso chocolate chunk cookie, trying using a lighter roast coffee bean for infusing the butter as well as a lighter roast for the instant coffee powder and brewed coffee that's called for in the recipe. You can also try infusing the butter for a shorter period of time or skipping this step altogether. In this case, melt the butter then place in the fridge to solidify for about 30 minutes before using in the recipe
- To achieve those large melty pools of chocolate you see in my photos, chop large chunks of chocolate baking bars instead of using packaged chocolate chunks. This will allow you to keep some pieces large to place on top of the espresso chocolate chunk cookies just prior to baking. When these melt in the oven you'll get those huge pools of melty dark chocolate
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Looking for more Chocolate Chip cookie recipes? Give these a try:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup whole espresso beans or coffee beans
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups dark chocolate chopped, plus more for tops
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
Infuse the Butter:
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 grams) unsalted butter.
- Once melted, stir in ½ cup coffee or espresso beans, remove from the heat, cover and steep for 30-60 minutes (the longer you allow the butter and beans to steep, the more intense the coffee/espresso flavor you’ll get).
- Pour the butter and beans through a fine-mesh strainer set over a heatproof bowl.
- Discard beans.
- Place butter in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Prepare the Cookie Dough:
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
- Line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment affixed, add the chilled coffee-infused butter, brown and granulated sugars.
- Beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add the egg and egg yolk and mix on medium speed for another minute until fully incorporated.
- With the mixer off, scrape down the sides and bottom, then add the espresso powder, vanilla and brewed espresso.
- Mix on medium until incorporated. With the mixer off, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir on low speed just until incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the chopped chocolate and stir just until incorporated.
- Using a ¼ cup (2 ounce) cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 6 per sheet, spacing dough about 2 inches apart.
- Gently press chunks of dark chocolate into the tops of each cookie.
- In a small bowl, mix together the espresso powder and flaky salt and sprinkle liberally on top of each cookie.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 4-5 minutes, rotate baking sheets and continue baking for 4-5 minutes more just until cookies are starting to brown at the edges and no longer look raw in the middle.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheets.
- Move cookies to a cooling rack and bake remaining cookies.
- Store baked and cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend warming them slightly in the microwave at ½ power for 30-45 seconds before serving
- Cookie dough may be frozen for up to 3 months. Place scooped cookie dough onto a sheet tray in a single layer and freeze for at least an hour, then place frozen cookie dough into a freezer-safe storage bag in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to baking. Place chopped chocolate and espresso sea salt on top of cookies just prior to baking
- Flaky espresso sea salt comes from HalfBakedHarvest.com
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This sounds great but I have a question. The cookie dough ingredient list calls for 1 Tbsp of freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee (it's listed between the vanilla and the flour), but the instructions don't address it. Would I be correct in thinking that the fresh coffee/espresso should be added at the same time as the espresso powder and vanilla? Thanks!
Thank you for pointing that out, Azirkah! I have added the brewed espresso into the instructions. You're correct - add it in at the same time you add in the espresso powder and vanilla. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and happy baking!
I was wondering how your cookie comes out nice and flat? With the crumbly look? Mine comes out puffy
Hi! I'm not entirely sure.. are you measuring the ingredients correctly? It's hard to say without seeing how you are preparing them. Give them another try and see if you get the same result. I wish I could help without being there to see!
Can I use ground coffee to infuse the butter as I don't have beans on me.
Let me know.
hi Tania! I haven't tried it with ground coffee. The hot butter may brew the ground coffee, like hot water does. With whole bean coffee, the coffee flavor is absorbed by the butter, but not brewed like a cup of coffee.
Hi! I also had the same problem as a previous poster, my cookies are puffy, but flattened and browned. I followed the recipe exactly, so I’m not sure what might be causing this.
I'm sorry to hear they didn't come out the way you wanted them to! It's hard to say what the issue is - I've made them a few times and they come out as pictured. When I make them again I'll be sure to see if I can diagnose what's going on...
Followed the recipe exactly (except for the chocolate on top) and they came out perfect! Thaaaaank you I'm always hoping the cookies will turn out this chewy thing crunchy on the outside and they never do! Love these!!! Mine might have been smaller made 23 🙂
So happy to hear this Ashlyn!!
Can you replace the 1tbsp espresso powder for 1tbsp espresso?
If you use liquid espresso rather than the espresso powder, it'll likely change the consistency of the cookie.
What can you substitute for the expresso of coffee beans to infuse coffee into the butter?
You can use regular coffee beans instead of espresso beans. Use whatever your favorite blend is of coffee beans. I prefer dark roast, but use what you have. I would recommend avoiding flavored coffee beans, however, such as hazelnut, etc. This will change the flavor of the cookies. IF you don't have coffee beans, you can skip this step. The cookies won't have as much coffee/espresso flavor, but they'll still taste really good! I would not recommend using ground coffee - the hot butter will brew the coffee rather than infuse with flavor. Good luck!