Caramel Mocha Moon Cookies

Makes 24 -30 cookies
Author Wendy Sondov themondaybox.com

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter or vegetable shortening*** melted in a cereal-sized bowl and cooled to room temperature
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder natural, not Dutch processed
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 25 caramel coffee hard candies I used Werther’s, coarsely crushed
  • ***Desert safe adaptations: Use vegetable shortening.

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder.
  2. Add the cocoa powder to the melted butter (or vegetable shortening) and mix until smooth
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large mixing bowl if preparing by hand), combine the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix in the cocoa-butter mixture.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth and resembles brownie batter.
  6. Fold in mini chips.
  7. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. To speed up the chilling process, put the batter in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This is a sticky dough. It is ready to use as soon as it is firm enough to scoop and roll into balls.
  8. When ready to bake: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Place hard candies into a freezer strength zip lock bag. Using a rolling pin or meat hammer, coarsely crush. Some pieces will crush down to sugar but leave as many pieces the size of mini chocolate chips as possible. Pour crushed candy into a small bowl.
  10. Scoop tablespoon sized dough and roll by hand into balls. (Even chilled, this dough can be sticky. I washed excess dough from my hands every 2-3 balls for easier rolling.)
  11. Gently press the top of each ball into the crushed candy.
  12. Place on prepared cookie sheet, at least 2” apart. For less cookie spread, refrigerate the cookies on the sheet for 15 minutes before baking. This is not required but results in a slightly thicker cookie.
  13. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before placing on wire racks until completely cool. The candy craters will sink further into the cookies and harden as the cookies cool.
  14. Cookies will remain fresh 2 weeks or longer when stored at room temperature in an air tight container or zip lock bag.

Packing Tips

Double wrap pairs of cookies (with bottoms together) in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container or zip lock bag. For storage longer than 2 weeks, vacuum sealing is recommended.