Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mocha Butter Ball Cookies

Today I'm featuring part two of the Basic Butter Cookie Dough from Gourmet, December 1995 . Let's get right to it, shall we?

Mocha Butter Balls:
  • 1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat together the cookie dough, cocoa powder, espresso powder and nuts until just combined well. Form dough into balls by scooping out one level teaspoon and rolling between your palms until smooth. Arrange dough balls about 3/4 inch apart on baking sheets and bake cookies in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree oven until just firm, about 17 to 18 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes.

Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. After the cookies have cooled for 5 minutes, toss them, a few at a time, in the confectioners sugar to coat well, shaking off the excess, and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Store cooled cookies between sheets of wax paper in air tight containers. If desired, cookies can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. If needed, the defrosted cookies can be rolled in confectioners sugar again to refresh before serving.

As written, this recipe will yield about 6 dozen cookies.

Cooks Notes: Again, this dough really puffs as it bakes, so keep the cookies small. I used a level teaspoon to scoop out the dough to make sure they were all uniform. Do not over bake. The finished cookies should be firm to the touch but not dried out. Mine were cooked at the 17 minute mark. Turn the cookie sheets halfway through baking to ensure an even bake.

I used Scharffen Berger cocoa powder and the flavor was magnificent. The finished cookie is just sweet enough, without being cloying, and the coffee and walnuts really enhance the chocolate flavor. As this is a butter cookie, the crumb is wonderfully light and crumbly. I hope you'll try them!

If mocha's not your thing, fear not, you can make several other cookies with this dough:

Each of those links will take you to the original recipes on Epicurious. In previous years, I've made the Raspberry Hazelnut Triangles, the Orange Cranberry Oatmeal cookies and the Spiced Icebox Cookies - each more delicious than the next!

Including the Chocolate Coconut Sticks and the Mocha Butter Balls, I've given you 9 different cookie options from one single batch of dough ... or, rather, Gourmet has. I'd say my work is done here.

Bon appetit!

p.s. - If you haven't already done so, please visit my Cans for Comments post and leave a comment. A can of food will be donated in your honor for doing so. :)


Erika said...

Oh yeah, these look GOOD. I haven't had time to start holiday cookies yet - maybe this weekend!

Heavenly Housewife said...

These look great, and the flavours are wonderful. Plus i love anything called a "butter ball"

Dana McCauley said...

Yummy! For years I used to buy the Gourmet cookie issue and keep it safe and sound for future use. How I'll miss it!

Margaret aka: Fact Woman said...

These sound so good!!!! I added a link to this recipe at so that other people can find this recipe.

Anonymous said...

Those are totally scrumptious! Yum!

Megan said...

You're reminding me I need to dig out my old issues of Gourmet. These cookies sound delicious!

Truck Driving Schools in Michigan said...

yummmy! Those look delicious. I hope to learn and be as good as a cook as you. I love the recipe!

<3 Lisa

Fresh Local and Best said...

Oh yum! These mocha butter ball cookies look sensational! I adore Scharffenberger chocolates too.

Jackie said...

Wishing I'd seen these cookies an hour ago, they look delicious. Just made regular butter cookies for a cookie exchange but these would've been far more impressive.

stephchows said...

Seriously 9 types from 1 dough ball... WOW and that's a LOT of cookies!!!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Thanks, all! Let me know if any of try the basic dough and how you choose to spice it. Its so versatile, I'm sure you could do almost any kind of cookie with it. :)

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Sue Tolleson-Rinehart said...

Thank you so very much for unearthing the basic and variation recipes! My late husband and I made the coconut sticks, the Mocha balls, and two other variations in December 1995, when the issue came out. He, bless him, said he wanted to make cookies for all his lab rats. He was not much of a cook but he was a great chef's assistant, and we made all the cookies and then packed some of each into pretty tins. He then took them off to his lab and distributed them to students, research assistants, postdocs...all of whom loved them! It's just wonderful to see these recipes again -- thank you!