Mocha Cookie Sandwiches

I had something else planned for y'all this week, but then I finally perfected these Mocha Cookie Sandwiches and I had to share.
My brain has been rotating through many different ways to execute the perfect mocha latte cookie. Do I use a straight coffee flavor? Add chocolate? Brewed espresso or ground espresso? Incorporate the cream into the cookie, or make a sandwich? After many tests, I've figured it out.

And, it's perfect.
The cookie is soft and moist, and the espresso packs a punch. I loaded them up with cocoa powder and chocolate chips to achieve the "mocha latte" flavor.

A sweet vanilla buttercream acts as the "milk" that makes up a latte, and sandwiches the two cookies together.
The ground espresso takes what would be a delicious chocolate cookie and elevates it to a whole other level. I would probably put espresso in all of my cookies if I thought I could get away with it. 😉
I used finely ground Starbucks espresso beans that I ground with my spice grinder. If you don't have a grinder, you can buy pre-ground espresso at most grocery stores and coffee shops. If you're wary of buying an entire bag of espresso to only use in one recipe, Starbucks Via Instant coffee in the darkest roast you can find (Italian or French Roast) is a good substitute. These are sold in Starbucks stores, and you can also get them at Target (and probably most grocery stores). No matter which option you choose, make sure the grounds are super fine. There's nothing worse than biting into a cookie and getting a mouth full of coffee grounds.
To make the cookies, combine flour and butter until fluffy in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Slowly add these to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips, and chill for at least an hour. The dough can also be refrigerated overnight.

The filling comes together super fast as well! I used this Whipped Vanilla Buttercream from Completely Delicious, but my French buttercream will also work.

When the cookies are baked and cooled, pair up ones of similar size. Pipe the buttercream onto one cookie, and sandwich them together. This recipe makes about 10 sandwiches, but can be easily doubled if you're expecting a crowd!

Mocha Cookie Sandwiches

Mocha Cookie Sandwiches
Soft and fudgey espresso cookies sandwiched with sweet vanilla buttercream...the perfect mocha latte.
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 cup special dark cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
1. In a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. 
2. In a separate bowl, combine espresso, flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Slowly add to the wet mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Chill for at least 1 hour. 
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into small balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes -- cookies will appear gooey. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire rack to cool. 
4. Prepare whipped vanilla buttercream, and pipe onto half of the cookies. Sandwich cookies together and serve.

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Yield: 10 sandwiches

If you try these, let me know! Comment down below, or find me on Instagram. 😊

Caramel Apple Spice

I loved the Caramel Apple Spice drink at Starbucks long before I ever worked there. But until then, I had no clue what actually comprised the drink. When I realized how simple the recipe is, I knew this was something I could make at home.
Only a few simple ingredients are involved:
  • Apple Juice
  • Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • Whipped Cream
  • Caramel Drizzle

Despite how simple the recipe is, it is delicious. I crave these every fall and winter because the hot cider is so soothing. It takes a simple, cozy fall day to the next level. This recipe is also easily doubled, so making this drink for your next holiday party is a must.
The cinnamon dolce syrup is the real star here, and it's incredibly easy to make. To get started, you'll need three ingredients:
  • Brown Sugar
  • Water
  • Cinnamon Sticks
In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and water together until the sugar has dissolved. The mixture will be ready when small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan. You don't want to boil the syrup, as that can turn it into a candy instead of a simple syrup. 
Once the syrup is ready, pour it into a heat safe bowl and add one cinnamon stick. Let the cinnamon stick hang out in the syrup until the syrup is cool, and then remove. This recipe makes about 3/4 cup of syrup, but you can easily double or triple the recipe if you're expecting a crowd!
So...what are you waiting for? We have fall drinks to make!

Caramel Apple Spice

Caramel Apple Spice
This cozy and sweet Starbucks copycat drink will warm you from the inside out!

Cinnamon Dolce Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup watr
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Drink Assembly:
  • 1 jug of apple juice (Tree Top if available)
  • Whipped cream, store bought or homemade)
  • Caramel Drizzle (I use this small batch caramel sauce)
Cinnamon Dolce Syrup: 
1. Combine brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to stir until sugar is dissolved and small bubbles appear at the bottom of the saucepan. Remove from heat. 
2. Transfer syrup into a heat proof bowl or jar. Add one cinnamon stick, and let sauce cool. Once cooled, remove cinnamon stick. Keep at room temperature for 3-4 days. 

Drink Assembly: 
1. Heat apple juice on stove top, in crock pot, or in the microwave until hot. 
2. Fill mugs with heated apple juice and mix in desired amount of syrup (about 1-2 tablespoons). Top with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. Serve hot.

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Yield: 4 drinks

Who's ready to cozy up with a fuzzy blanket and a good movie?

Mini Apple Pies for Two

Fall is among us, friends (even if it is in the upper 80s in Dallas).

And you know what that means? PIE.

It's obviously acceptable (and encouraged) to have pie year round, but there's something special about the smell of pie baking as the wind whips outside.
And, c'mon, these mini pies are adorable! This recipe makes two personal sized pies, which is great for date night, girls night, or literally any kind of night. I want pie always. 😉
You all know that my relationship with pie goes way back. My Grandma has been making pies from scratch ever since I can remember, and she taught me everything I know. It's kind of a sacred thing in our family. So sacred that, when I disclosed to my Mom that I would be using a recipe other than my Grandma's crust, she called it "blasphemy."

"I know, I know! But I wanted to try something new!"

"...don't tell your Grandma."

Grandma, if you're reading this -- I'm sorry. 😇
Truth be told, I had never made a traditional pie crust with butter, only vegetable oil. I wanted to see what I was missing out on. While I'm still obsessed with my Grandma's recipe, the one I used from A Cozy Kitchen is just as delicious.
Both the ingredient and equipment list for these little pies are simple, and had everything on hand without having to make a trip to the store. Because, in true Nicole fashion, I woke up and immediately wanted to make pie. I have two ramekins, so I used those to make a deep dish pie. If you have mini pie pans, those will work too!
Everything comes together really quickly and easily, so you have no excuse to not make this pie today. It's the perfect way to transition into fall!
So, don't mind me as I casually turn down my A/C and pretend like I haven't looked at the weather two weeks from now to see if maybe temps will drop. I'm crossing my fingers!

Mini Apple Pies for Two

Mini Apple Pies for Two

Warm & delicious mini apple pies for two! The spicy and sweet filling pairs perfectly with the flaky crust making these the perfect treat for you and that special someone.

  • 1/2 batch pie crust, store bought or homemade
  • 2 apples
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 TB white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Drizzle of lemon juice
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Peel, core, and chop apples into small, bite sized pieces. Mix chopped apples with brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice. Set aside. 
2. Divide dough in half, one for each pie. Since we are making a two crust pie, the dough will need to be divided further. Make sure one part is larger than the other. You will end up with four balls of dough, two of which will be slightly larger for the bottom crust. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate what you are not currently working with. 
3. Flour your surface and rolling pin. Roll out the larger dough balls first, for the bottom crust. Rotate the dough as needed to ensure the dough doesn't stick to the surface. Roll out dough so that it is 3-4 inches larger than the ramekins. Set the dough into the ramekin, smoothing out the folds that will occur. Repeat for second pie. If dough starts to get too sticky or soft, place in the freezer for a few minutes. 
4. Fill pies with apple mixture. Roll out the smaller dough balls onto floured surface and place on top of the filled ramekins. 
5. Pinch bottom layer and top layer together at edges, sealing the crust. Crimp or trim excess dough. 6. Cut 4-5 slits in the top of the crust to allow for ventilation. Brush the tops with beaten egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. 
 7. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate baking sheet. Bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until the tops are an even golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

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Yield: 2 mini pies

What fall fav are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments, or find me on Instagram!

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