1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground espresso (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg 1 tablespoon honey
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate (a mix of dark, milk, and white)
2 ounces finely chopped nuts (optional)
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, coffee, spices, and salt; set aside.
- Working with a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), mix the pieces of cold butter and both sugars on low speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture forms clumps and then comes together. You’ll see pieces of butter here and there—you’re supposed to. Add the dry ingredients all at once and then pulse the mixer on and off, just until the risk of flying flour has passed. Mix on low-medium speed until you’ve got a bowl of crumbs, about 3 minutes. Lightly whisk the egg and honey together. With the mixer on low, add the egg mixture gradually and then continue to mix until the dough forms clumps. Squeeze a bit of the dough and it will hold together. Beat in the chocolate and nuts, if using.
- Reach into the bowl and press the dough into a ball. Turn it out onto a sheet of parchment paper.
- Press the dough down, cover it with another sheet of paper and roll it out until it’s about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick. It can be any shape—round, oval, rectangular, raggedy-edged or pristine. It will probably be about 12 x 15 inches (30 x 38cm), but the thickness is more important than the dimensions. Being neat doesn’t buy you anything with this cookie. Slide the sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour (or for up to 3 days). If you prefer, you can wrap the dough well and freeze it for up to 2 months; keep it at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking.
- When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°F (180°F). Remove the top sheet of paper; leave the dough on the paper-lined baking sheet. If you’re using the sanding sugar, sprinkle the dough with about 2 tablespoons’ worth.
- Bake the cookie for 20 to 24 minutes—the edges will be darker than the middle.
- Press the center of the cookie and it should be firm with just a tiny bit of give; it will feel firmer as you work your way out. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookie to come to room temperature. If you’re not eating it immediately, you can wrap the cookie well and keep it at room temperature for about 4 days.
- You can serve the cookie whole, letting everyone break off pieces (of course there will be crumbs—they’re part of the cookie’s charm), or you can break or cut it in the kitchen and serve the pieces as you would any cookie.