Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cookies

March 24, 2018
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 16 minutes
  • Makes 1 batch
Author Notes

These snappy, crisp, shortbread-like cookies are full of coffee flavor with a sweet, condensed milk icing to finish them off. I adapted the recipe from this one at I'm Not the Nanny. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon very strong brewed coffee, with extra to use
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground coffee (I use a dark roast)
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 pinch espresso powder
  1. Cream together the butter and 3/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla and brewed coffee and beat to mix well.
  3. Add the flour, salt, and ground coffee and beat until the dough is smooth and sticky and not sandy-looking. If it is still sandy looking after you've beaten it for more than five minutes, add more coffee in increments until the dough seems more cohesive.
  4. Roll the dough into a log (or two) about 2" wide, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until very firm and chilled.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325° F. Slice the dough into thin circles, place them on a parchment-lined sheet (or in the wells of a muffin tin), and bake for 14-16 minutes or until just barely golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  6. While the cookies cool, make the frosting. Beat together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla bean paste (if using), milk, and espresso powder. It should be thin enough to drizzle easily: Add more milk if not. Once the cookies are cool, drizzle the icing over them or, if you like, spread the surface of each cookie with a thin layer of icing.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Meghan Grout
    Meghan Grout
  • Susan Ludlum Phipps
    Susan Ludlum Phipps
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
  • Sarrah

21 Reviews

Sarrah June 18, 2018
Would using coffee extract for the icing in place of the espresso powder be feasible to maintain the intended flavor?
Sherri N. June 10, 2018
How many cookies does this make. Saying one batch tells one exactly nothing.
Misfitwife June 11, 2018
Answer is in comments below...2 1/2 dozen
Sherri N. June 11, 2018
Ah, thank you very much!
Misfitwife April 13, 2018
I loved them as the recipe is written! However, the majority of others who tasted them loved the cookie flavor but didn't care for the texture of the coffee grounds. I will try them again without the grounds for them and maybe up the coffee flavor in the icing. Was thinking that finely chopped dark chocolate would be a yummy substitute for the coffee grounds since those flavors go so well together.
Jennifer April 9, 2018
Made these and they were great. Baking them also made the house smell great - I am guessing due to the coffee grounds. People who tried them immediately wanted the recipe.
Kentley April 7, 2018
KAF says confectioner's sugar (unsifted) is 8 ounces for TWO cups, not one!
Posie (. April 7, 2018
Ooh thanks for keeping me on track! Noted & updated :)
chefmacgregor April 7, 2018
Use as little of the liquid coffee as possible because water does encourage gluten development and you want these to be as short (in texture) as possible. When the dough log is well-wrapped and chilled, the dough becomes more cohesive as it rests, just as happens when you make pie dough. I didn't use the icing so I added 1 cup of powdered sugar to the dough (more tenderness). One important fact about the recipe is that it is written as if powdered sugar weighs 8 ounces, which it does not. Powdered sugar weighs only 4 ounces per cup so keep that in mind if you weigh your ingredients. As for scooping the dough, you certainly could but it would be better to press them flat since this dough does not spread at all and it could be difficult to keep them pale and cooked all the way through if it is a mound of dough. Delicious cookie! Thanks Food52.
Posie (. April 7, 2018
Thanks for all that great feedback! I did consider 8 ounces as 1 cup of confectioners' sugar (I always use the ingredient weight chart at King Arthur Flour for consistency). So glad you enjoyed it.
chefmacgregor April 7, 2018
To be clear, in the dough itself, I used a total of one cup of powdered sugar - not an additional cup. My neighbors and I (oh, the aroma!) have almost finished these off. If you like shortbread, you won't need the icing. Next time I will add more ground coffee. Everyone is enjoying the crunch of the coffee bean. While shortbread is traditionally removed from the oven without much color, the favorite tray at my house was the lightly golden brown tray. My yield was 40 cookies. I'm definitely adding this one to my collection of cookie recipes.
Sarah April 7, 2018
The icing calls for sugar. Is this confectioners or cane sugar? Also is the paste used for the cookies and the icing or just the cookies because ingredients call for vanilla and paste
Sarah April 7, 2018
Nvm. I didn't read the recipe
Meghan G. April 7, 2018
Can these be scooped or do they have to be rolled and sliced?
Posie (. April 7, 2018
I wouldn't recommend scooping them as they don't spread much, so slicing is better!
SusanR April 6, 2018
Hi. These sound amazing. I know we all make cookies in a size we like, but based on your size and thickness recommendations, how many does this recipe make? Thanks!
Posie (. April 6, 2018
I get about 2 1/2 dozen out of one batch!
cosmiccook April 6, 2018
What about incorporating some coffee flour into the recipe?
Posie (. April 6, 2018
Such a great idea!!
Susan L. April 6, 2018
Does the icing harden ?
Posie (. April 6, 2018
A bit yes! But not fully.