Recipe for Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Who said you couldn’t have cookies at breakfast? From the beginning of quarantine, the most constant component of my days has been a cup of coffee each morning. And then, after supper, a cookie (or three). Apart from my Peruvian pancake recipe, this coffee chocolate cookie recipe has become one of my go-to desserts, with no infusing, cooling, or freezing necessary.

After a few changes, it became a soft and chewy cookie recipe rather than crispy, which I like since it gives the cookies a melty quality when heated in the microwave. Moreover, the chocolate chips become mushy, allowing the burst of sugar to stand out even more. The bitterness from the coffee grounds, vanilla, and nibs contribute to an overall subtle sweetness, while the salt added both within and on top will satisfy even the most finicky palette!

The vanilla, sugars, cacao nibs, chocolate, and coffee are the ingredients that set this coffee cookie recipe apart. There may seem to be a lot of changes, but the idea was to create a melty cookie with some give and not too much overpowering sweetness. I prefer my cookies to be rich, bittersweet, and complex, much like my coffee.

This espresso cookie recipe has around twice the vanilla typically used in such a dish, improving the depth of the taste and scent. Combining both white and dark brown sugar moistens the dough and adds to the underlying sweetness. Adding cacao nibs instead of nuts gives the dough a nutritious and distinct crunch. Nibs are the finest form of chocolatey pleasure, with all of the nutrients that makes chocolate beneficial for you.

I also used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet or dark chocolate chips since the milk in the chips caramelized throughout the baking process, providing another depth of taste. The use of coffee grounds instead of instant coffee powder was more about using up what I had on hand, but it came out fantastic! But keep in mind that if you prefer to use instant coffee powder instead of ground coffee, you should use less than half the quantity.

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Yield: 40 cookies

Recipe for Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

A soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie with subtle coffee undertones and a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The recipe may easily be cut in half.

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons very finely ground coffee (I recommend a chocolaty craft coffee, but any dark roast you find at your local coffee shop should do)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (not iodized salt; see above)
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 softened sticks, 8oz.)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (light brown would work in a pinch)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk chocolate chips (11.5 or 12 oz.; I recommend Guittard milk chocolate chips or other craft chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs (4oz.; I recommend using some nutty cacao nibs, like Askinosie’s)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees, making sure the cooking racks are placed in the center of the oven.
  2. Put parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and set aside. Taking out a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground coffee, and the salt), and then set the mixture aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and the white & brown sugars together until fluffy. Beat in each egg one at a time, and then add the vanilla.
  4. Slowly add spoonfuls of your dry ingredients’ mixture to the dough, beating well after each addition (10 to 15 seconds).
  5. Finally, lightly mix in the chocolate chips and cacao nibs. The chocolate chips may sink to the bottom if you use an electric mixer, so scoop your dough from the bottom as you form large tablespoons and drop them onto the parchment-covered sheet.
  6. Bake each sheet for 12 minutes, or until edges just start to brown. Don’t bake the cookies for more than 14 minutes, or the bottoms may begin to burn.
  7. Remove the cookies from the sheet immediately after taking them out of the over, transferring them to a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before consuming.


Although the dough in this recipe may be frozen without damage, I suggest baking all of the cookies at once and reheating them when ready to serve. While the cookies need to chill before eating, I strongly suggest warming them by setting them over a cup of your favorite warm beverage.

If your cookies survive that long, refrigerate them in an airtight jar for up to a week. I suggest warming them in the microwave for 12 to 15 seconds with a cup of black tea or a strong cappuccino. Unlike other chocolate chip cookie recipes, these flavors blend together like a buttery shortbread with sweet caramelized chocolate, flaky sea salt, and crunchy cacao nibs.

If you can afford it, many artisan chocolatiers now sell chocolate chips and other baking components sourced from an ethical supply chain that extends beyond Fair Trade. Above all, I still advocate choosing milk chocolate chips, so if you don’t have the time to custom order anything, Guittard is the most ethical and tastiest type of grocery store chocolate chips. Good luck with your baking!

My grandma gave me this tip: keep one of the butter packets on the counter. Without wasting another plate, you may retain the scraping spatula and spoons on a smooth surface that was going to be thrown away anyhow.

Remember to save this espresso chocolate chip cookie recipe for later!

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