Espresso Shortbread Cookies
By Lisa Frania — / Recipes
Espresso your dark side with this Espresso Shortbread Cookie Recipe
These Espresso Shortbread Cookies are the perfect balance of salty and sweet—they're delicious, chocolate-coated treats baked Death Wish Coffee-style.
We’ve swapped out espresso powder for Death Wish Coffee Espresso Roast, our most intense roast yet. The result? Each delightful bite gives you a mouthful of buttery, flaky goodness—and ends with a coffee finish that will take you to the next dimension of darkness.
A Short History of Shortbread
Shortbread is a classic cookie that dates back to medieval times in the United Kingdom. In its original form, any leftover dough from making bread would be dried out in an oven until it hardened into a biscuit (biscuit means “twice cooked”). Eventually, the yeast in the biscuit was replaced by butter, and just like that—shortbread was created.
We aren’t the first to add coffee to the shortbread. There are other espresso shortbread cookies out there. It works because...well, what isn’t better with coffee?
But where other recipes fall short is in their use of standard, old espresso powder.
How We’ve Upgraded Espresso
Espresso powder is useful in baking because it makes chocolate flavors bolder and more intense. However, there are problems with traditional espresso powders.
“Espresso powder is really not for drinking,” as they say over at The Kitchn. If you do try and use it to brew, you’ll be disappointed. “Unfortunately, the powder makes for a pretty weak cup,” Roasty piles on.
So basically, keeping the stuff on hand will chew up your valuable cabinet space—and be totally useless to you outside of baking.
There is a better way—and it’s called Death Wish Coffee Espresso Roast.
Espresso powder (finely ground coffee) works in baking because it’s a very dark roast. Death Wish Coffee Espresso Roast is our most intense roast yet, with notes of cocoa, caramelized sugar and cherries. It will unlock even more flavor when you work it into your cookies or cakes. You can also swap out espresso powder with Death Wish Coffee Instant Coffee.
The result will be more delicious desserts, more coffee flavor and more space in your pantry. Even Marie Kondo would be impressed.
A Cookie You Can Enjoy Many Ways
One of the things that makes shortbread so great is that it’s so versatile.
The image above shows you four different ways you can doll up this cookie: coated in chocolate, with chocolate and nuts (like a pecan, shown), with chocolate and coffee beans on top (the go-to for those who truly love coffee) or just straight up.
For the chocolate dip itself, dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips will work. In the version shown, we’ve used semi-sweet. Using white chocolate will give you an entirely different look but equally delicious flavor.
How To Make the Espresso Shortbread Cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons finely ground Death Wish Coffee Espresso Roast (starting from whole beans)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Optional: sea salt or coarsely ground salt
The Chocolate Dip:
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place about 1/3 cup of Death Wish Coffee beans into a coffee grinder. Then grind to a fine dust. (Bonus: 1/3 cup will give you more coffee than you need for the recipe. After you’ve spooned out the tablespoon and two teaspoons needed for the cookies, use what’s left to brew a cup of coffee. Score!)
- Combine sugar and butter in a countertop stand mixer or use a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl. Beat until well mixed, about 2 minutes.
- Add in salt, flour and baking soda. Mix for about 2 more minutes or until the mixture starts to pull together.
- Add in the ground coffee and mix until it’s relatively evenly distributed. Don’t overmix— beating the mix too much will make it tough and less flaky.
- Roll dough to about 1/8” to 1/4” thick between two sheets of wax paper or parchment paper or on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
- Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 14 minutes.
How To Make the Chocolate Dip
- Place chocolate chips in a small, heat-proof bowl.
- Set the bowl over a small pan of lightly simmering water.
- Stir until chocolate melts and is smooth.
Putting on the Finishing Touches
- Dip half of the cookie into the melted chocolate. You can also drizzle chocolate over the cookies or use a spatula to apply the chocolate as you wish.
- Place the chocolate-coated cookie on wax paper or parchment paper.
- Sprinkle with salt, which will bring out more of the rich flavors of the coffee and chocolate.
- Decorate with coffee beans or roasted pecans if desired.
- Allow the cookies to cool for about an hour or so.
- Mixing and Prep: 15 Minutes
- Baking: 10-14 Minutes per sheet
- Chocolate Coating: 10 Minutes
- Cooling: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Now you can enjoy these tasty cookies—and espresso your dark side at the same time!
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