Good afternoon! And welcome to a cookie chronicle that will go down in history as the best thing to happen in 2017, due to lack of competition. Just kidding. I'm hoping we see lots of beauty, love, resilience, and badassery in the days ahead — things much more important than cookies. But for the days we don't/can't see those things, I'm here for you. Who am I, you ask? (You didn't, but since I'm the one writing this, it really doesn't matter what you are and are not saying.) I'm a little baker based in Virginia who loves butter, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama’s arms, Michelle Obama’s everything, Drake’s feelings, superheroes, anti heroes, graphic novels, black excellence, spirituality, cheese, dranks, ice cream, “me time,” and these pants I got from Costco that look like real pants but are actually basically yoga pants. And I come with cookies.
Sweet. I feel like you really know me now, and we’re ready to start this cookie voyage together. Virtual hand, in virtual hand. Our first cookie will include two of my favorite things: coffee and booze. These bourbon espresso snickerdoodles are pillowy, chewy soft. And for a sugar cookie, they are a little bitter, a little earthy, and not too sweet. It's like a cocktail in cookie form, which is something that will come in handy many times over. So make a batch of dough and freeze those suckers, so that when the occasion arises, voilá! Preheat your oven, and in a few minutes, you are ready to commiserate with with a celebratory treat. Always prepared.
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
14 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp instant espresso
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp bourbon
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter, shortening, 1 cup sugar, and instant espresso on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, and mix on medium high speed until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom to make sure everything is mixing together. Add vanilla and bourbon, and mix on medium speed until combined.
Add flour to stand mixer, beating on medium speed until it's almost completely incorporated. Finish mixing by hand, again scraping the sides and bottom to make sure everything is mixing together.
Combine the ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a metal scoop (or a spoon if you don't have one) to form the dough into 1 ½” balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture, coating them all around. Chill in the fridge for an hour, at least.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the cookies halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool for a couple minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a cooling rack, allowing the cookie to cool completely (only if you want, you can dive in at this point).
Makes ~24 cookies. Store in an airtight container for a week. These cookies also freeze well — do so in an airtight container as well, and they'll last for months.
Arley Arrington is the owner of Arley Cakes, which provides unique baked goods for celebrations, events, or just because you need a pie! Arley hopes to someday open a bakery that empowers women from low-income neighborhoods by providing job opportunities and mentoring. She also works as the baker at Brookville Restaurant.