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Chocolate-Orange Espresso Thins

The secret to the super-crisp texture here is cutting the dough into very thin rounds; coarse sanding sugar on top adds to their crunch.

  • Yield: Makes about 4 dozen
Chocolate-Orange Espresso Thins

Source: Holiday Cookies 2005, Special Issue Holiday 2005


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Put butter, confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, and gradually add flour mixture until just combined.

  3. Transfer dough to a 12-by-16-inch piece of parchment; shape into a log. Roll in parchment to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of paper at each turn to narrow the log and force out air. Transfer in parchment to a paper towel tube; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with water; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until set, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Reviews (11)

  • Happy_Birthday_Dr_Seuss 28 Jan, 2013

    Chocolate-Orange Espresso Thins
    Russell's Monday Brunch
    Monday Brunch Guest Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood, PhD
    Nutritious and Delicious!

  • Mybobba 16 Jan, 2012

    I am sooo disappointed. I thought they would be great and they were not...will not make again.

  • lorikay321 16 Dec, 2011

    Made these for a cookie exchange. Everyone's favorite by far!

  • InsomniacBaking 24 Oct, 2010

    Though slightly hesitant after reading the two extremely bad reviews on this cookies, the idea of making a more grown up taste cookie is simply too hard to resist!

    Think Checkerboard Cookies with lighter texture and intense flavor.

    Far from garbage bin material: This is certainly a solid recipe that I wouldn't mind re-making. I simply enjoy the bold, earthy cocoa-espresso flavor.

    My Tweak:
    - Used less but regular salt
    - No orange
    - Thin slice dough = brittle

  • jnokleby 11 Jan, 2010

    I have a brownie recipe that is similar in flavors and ingredients. Called the TEXAS BROWNIES.

  • Angelspacc 23 Aug, 2009

    I had no problems with this dough. Cookies turned out great, especially if you are a chocolate lover.

  • emstanto 13 Mar, 2009

    The looks are deceiving, I just threw away the whole batch...

  • Lalipalooza 12 Jan, 2009

    These cookies sound better than they taste.

  • picklepuss 11 Jan, 2009

    Delicious. I used half Dutch-process cocoa, and half black cocoa, so mine came out even darker than the ones pictured. The coarse salt results in little surprise bursts of flavor and helps balance out the sweetness, though these cookies are not overly sweet, which is partly why I love them!

  • ipoole 28 Dec, 2008

    Thanks for the tip, mykele. I'll look for the paddle and then try these yummee-sounding cookies.

  • mykele 27 Dec, 2008

    Great recipe for chocoholics.....I wanted to alert you cookie bakers to a
    new paddle mixer for Kitchen Aid mixers that has flanges to help
    keep the batter, etc. you are mixing "scrapped away from the sides of
    the bowl to save time that you take up when having to use a spatula.
    There are two types and are available in better kitchern stores.
    I just got one this month.....great help.

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