If I have a weakness greater than vanilla lattes, it’s having a second breakfast of cookies with a vanilla latte. My motto is that if you're going to indulge, you may as well do it right, so I set out to create a vanilla latte cookie that would be a perfect late-morning treat. I started with one of my favorite cookie recipes, Edna Lewis’ buttermilk cookies published in Gourmet magazine in 2008. They’re lovely in their simplicity, a soft cookie with a faintly crisp edge adorned with a thin buttermilk-vanilla glaze. To boost the flavor, I used a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, increased the vanilla, and added a healthy dose of espresso. I upped the vanilla in the glaze and added a pinch of salt as well, so each bite would taste of espresso and vanilla with a slightly sweet finish. Luckily, the recipe makes enough that you can easily pawn some off on unsuspecting coworkers or neighbors, saving yourself from a third breakfast. —EmilyC
about 4 dozen
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
1 T instant espresso powder or dark-roast coffee (e.g., Medaglia D'Oro or Starbucks Via French Roast)
2/3 cup whole-milk buttermilk, well-shaken and at room temperature
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
About 3 T whole-milk buttermilk, well-shaken and at room temperature
Heat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, instant espresso powder and vanilla bean paste until well integrated. Also set aside.
Using a stand or electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl one or two times. Reduce the speed to medium, and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk-espresso-vanilla mixture, and mix at low speed, just until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl several times to prevent over-mixing.
Drop level tablespoons of dough (a cookie scoop works well) about 1 1/2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies are puffed in the middle and edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes per batch. Cool cookies on sheet for one minute then transfer to cooling racks.
Whisk together all ingredients -- you may need to add a little more buttermilk or powdered sugar to reach a spreadable consistency. Spread in a thin layer on tops of slightly warm or cooled cookies.
Let stand until cookies are completely cool and glaze is set.