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Mocha Swirl Cookie Bites

Mocha Swirl Cookie Bites
When you see the swirl of a cinnamon bun, you know that it is going to be filled with delicious flavors like butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. When you see swirls in other baked goods, you know that, although the flavors inside might be different, they will also be filled with something delicious. These Mocha Swirl Cookie Bites are perfect for coffee lovers, with a delicious chocolate and coffee filling rolled up in a buttery cookie dough.

The cookie dough is made with a blend of both butter and cream cheese. This combination gives the dough a delicious flavor, thanks to the very subtle tang of cream cheese, and a very tender texture. The dough is soft, yet pliable, which means that it is very easy to handle and roll out without requiring too much extra flour. The mocha mixture is made with sugar, instant coffee and unsweetened cocoa powder – a combination that is also good inside of a cinnamon bun. To create the swirl, the dough should be rolled out and sprinkled evenly with the mocha mixture. The mocha layer should be thin because you want it to stay inside of that swirl as the cookies bake! The dough is rolled back up, cut into neat rounds and baked.

Unlike some other cookies, this dough does not spread that much when it bakes. This means that the cookies truly stay bite-sized and they will all have a nice uniform size and shape. I love the fact that you can simply pop them into your mouth – and that they look very different from other cookies when they’re all piled up on a dessert tray! You’ll really be able to taste the mocha flavor against the vanilla cookie dough, giving the cookies a really nice flavor that just might remind you of your favorite coffee house drink.

The cookie dough can be prepared 1-2 days in advance and stored, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. It may need to be softened slightly when you’re ready to roll it out. The rolled cookie dough can also be stored in the refrigerator if you want to prepare it in advance (no more than 24 hours), then slice and bake the cookies at a later time.  The finished cookies keep well in an airtight container and can be enjoyed for several days after baking, preferably with coffee or tea served alongside.

Mocha Swirl Cookie Bites
Cookie Dough

3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee or instant espresso powder
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 egg white

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together confectioners’ sugar, butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour mixture. Dough will be thick. Divide dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 60-90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, instant coffee and cocoa powder.
Take one of the dough discs and divide it in half (so you are using 1/4 of the total dough). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a log that is about 4 inches by 10 inches long and approximately 1/8-inch thick. Brush the surface of the rolled-out dough lightly with egg white and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of sugar mixture evenly over the surface.
Starting with the long side, roll the dough up into a log that is long and narrow. Pinch the seam of the dough seal the log. Cut rolled log of dough into 1/2-inch pieces and place, cut side up, onto prepared baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining dough. Cookies will not spread much, so you should be able to fit many onto one baking sheet with about 1-inch between cookies.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until very lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen.

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  • Linda
    December 16, 2014

    The directions are a bit confusing where you say to roll out into a sheet but then call it a log and then say roll the log up. You may want to update that. I couldn’t figure out how you were meaning to roll up a pre-existing log. Thanks, Nicole, for a good recipe that should be a great one for the holidays!

  • Nicole
    December 16, 2014

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for the comments. I tweaked the description a bit so that it would be more clear. Basically, the dough is rolled out into a sheet, spread with the sugar mixture and rolled up so that it forms a neat log (with a swirl inside). The individual cookies are cut from that log. I hope that makes more sense – and I hope you like the cookies!

  • Abigail Tuffs
    March 19, 2015

    Is the instant coffee granules or espresso liquid?

  • Nicole
    March 19, 2015

    Abigail – It should be instant espresso or instant coffee powder. Something like Starbucks Via would work as well.

  • Jessica
    December 21, 2015

    Would neufchatel cheese work as a sub for the cream cheese? It would save me a trip to the store…

  • Nicole
    December 22, 2015

    Jessica – Yes, you should be able to use it. I would not recommend fat free cream cheese, however.

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