espresso shortbread

i am such a fan of shortbread. it’s certainly easy to bake – a few quick steps and wa-la! cookies!

i am also a big fan of espresso. it was a staple in my grandparent’s home. my grandpa drank a demitasse cupful first thing in the morning to ‘get his motor running’. my grandma liked to indulge in an after-dinner espresso spiked with a bit of sambuca or anisette liqueur. and i find the little one-cup espresso pot quite a piece of nostalgia and comfort in my own seattle kitchen. and the aroma? there is really nothing quite like it.

so, it’s a natural instinct to join the heavenly scent and taste of espresso with the delicate crumb of a good shortbread. this recipe is not too sweet, not too heavy on the coffee flavor, and just the right amount of buttery java goodness to satisfy most adult cookie lovers. and i’ve added some mini semi-sweet chocolate pieces to add a little extra oomph! delicious and satisfying, these shortbread cookies will pair well with a fresh cup of coffee or even an after-dinner cordial. why not give them a try and let me know what you think!

espresso shortbread

ingredients:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (or mini-chocolate chips)

instructions:
1. preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. mix all ingredients, except the chocolate pieces, in your mixer bowl on medium speed, until they are well-combined into a firm dough.
3. add the chocolate pieces and gently mix until they are incorporated into the dough.
4. pat the dough into an ungreased pan (either a 9″ square pan or a biscotti pan.)
5. smooth out the top with an offset spatula.
6. bake for 35 minutes, until the edges have begun to brown.
7. remove the pan from oven, placing the pan on a wire rack, and cut the shortbread into desired sizes. let them cool directly in the pan.
8. enjoy!

<yield: about 12 large cookies or 16 small cookies.>

helpful tools for this recipe:
Offset Spatula: This Ateco Offset Spatula will make it a cinch to spread the dough into your pan.

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