Coffee liqueur icing adds a unique flair to these adult Valentine’s Day cookies. The rich flavor and classy appearance will be appreciated – and so will your efforts with these Kahlua Mocha Heart Cookies recipe.

Kahlua Mocha Heart Cookies Recipe #NationalBittersweetChocolateDay

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coffee or water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa natural or Dutch-process
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

ICING:

  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
  • 5 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder divided (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur *
  • Additional liqueur or water, as needed, to bring the icing to proper consistency
  • *If preferred substitute 3 tablespoons coffee or water for liqueur

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Cover baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl (a sturdy stand mixer is recommended), beat the butter and sugar together well,
  3. scraping the sides of the bowl often.
  4. Add vanilla, coffee (or water), and egg and beat until combined.
  5. Add flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix together until all dry ingredients are
  6. incorporated.
  7. Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, place dough on a large piece of floured parchment.
  8. Sprinkle the dough with flour and cover with a second piece of parchment. Roll thin – less than
  9. 1/4-inch.
  10. Using a cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes and place 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
  11. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Cookies may feel slightly soft, but edges should be starting
  12. to get a little crisp. Move to rack; cookies will harden as they cool.
  13. Dough scraps may be re-rolled between parchment sheets.

ICING DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, 1 teaspoon cocoa, and
  2. espresso powder. With mixer running, slowly add the warm water and liqueur.
  3. Beat on medium-high speed for at least 5 minutes. Because the consistency is slightly thinner
  4. than normal royal icing, it won’t come to a stiff peak, but should be light and smooth.
  5. Remove 1 cup of icing and place in a small bowl. Add liqueur (or water, if preferred), 1/2
  6. teaspoon at a time, until mixture flows from the spoon and blends into the icing in the bowl
  7. within seconds. It needs to flow, but shouldn’t be watery. (Picture the thickness of molasses or
  8. corn syrup.) Cover icing with plastic wrap and set aside.
  9. To the icing in the large bowl, add 4 teaspoons cocoa powder. Beat well, scraping the sides of
  10. the bowl often. This icing needs to be a little thicker, because you will be outlining the cookies
  11. with it – about the consistency of canned frosting. If it’s too thick to pipe easily from a bag, add
  12. a little liqueur (or water) 1/2 teaspoon at a time. If it’s too thin, add a little cocoa powder.
  13. For best results, the thick darker icing should go into a pastry bag with a small round writing tip.
  14. This will make it easier to outline your cookie and give you uniform “dots”, which will decorate
  15. the outside edge of your heart. Alternatively, you can use a disposable pastry bag or freezer-
  16. type plastic zipper bag. Cut a small piece of the tip off and test by squeezing a small amount out.
  17. The outline works as a dam to hold in the thinner icing, so the hole needs to be large enough to
  18. make a sturdy line around the cookie.
  19. Put the thin mocha icing in a bag and cut the tip off, leaving a large enough hole to let the icing
  20. flow freely. (Only put as much in the bag as you can handle, to avoid mess. Cover the remaining
  21. icing in the bowl.)
  22. With the dark icing, squeeze a line all the way around the edge of a cooled cookie,
  23. approximately 1/4-inch from the edge, leaving room for decorative dots. (You can do one cookie
  24. at a time, or do all of the edges at once.)
  25. With the thin mocha icing, fill in the cookie, using a toothpick to fill in any holes and bring the
  26. icing all the way to the piped outline. Tap gently to settle the icing.
  27. Using the thick, dark icing, pipe small dots along the edge of the heart, just outside the outline.
  28. Allow cookies to dry undisturbed for at least 6 hours.
  29. Makes 3 1/2 dozen 3-inch hearts!