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¾ cup butter, softened

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

3 tablespoons butter, softened

2 ¼ cups sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 tablespoons half and half

In a mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth; add sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth. Add as much of the flour as you can beat with the mixer. Stir in any remaining with a spoon. Flatten dough into a circle about one inch thick. Wrap and chill until firm. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dip dough with a small cookie scoop and place 2 inches apart onto parchment paper lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until bottoms are firm and lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

In a medium saucepan. Melt butter and stir oven medium heat until very lightly browned. Watch closely. There's a very fine line between lightly browned and burnt! Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and enough cream to reach spreading consistency. You may add a few drops of cream if the frosting gets too stiff. Stir again until smooth;.

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