Amanda Hewell’s Coffee Crisps

Amanda Hewell, the sister of my friend Adam Reid, got this recipe from a California Culinary Academy cookbook. She adapted it (by putting a mocha bean candy in the middle), gave it to Adam, who transcribed it incorrectly and gave it to me. I then read it too quickly and ended up making some changes myself (by adding the chocolate chips and the chocolate nibs). This is a perfect case of a recipe that has morphed and morphed into something absolutely amazing.

Mocha bean candies are not chocolate covered coffee beans. They are glossy little solid chocolate candies, about the size and shape of coffee beans and with a distinct coffee flavor. Cocoa nibs are roasted, shelled cocoa beans.

Amanda Hewell’s Coffee Crisps
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 3 dozen
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon powdered or granulated instant coffee or finely ground coffee beans
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup cocoa nibs
  • ½ cup mocha bean candies (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat/exopat.
  3. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg yolk and vanilla, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the chocolate chips and nibs and mix again.
  7. Divide the dough into quarters, roll each section into 1½-inch wide logs, wrap with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  8. Cut the dough logs into ¼-inch thick slices and place the slices on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
  9. Press one mocha bean candy in the center of each slice, if desired.
  10. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cookies begin to brown at the edges, about 11-12 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack.