Saturday, May 24, 2014

Espresso Shortbread Cookies

These Espresso Shortbread Cookies were inspired by Trader Joe's Kona Coffee Cookies.

My brother Josh brought us a box recently and our whole family loved them. I knew though that they would be an easy cookie to duplicate at home. I just needed to make an espresso-infused shortbread dough.

I really like how my version turned out. They aren't quite as sweet as the ones from Trader Joe's but they are crisp, buttery and rich with coffee flavor. I also skipped dipping half of each cookie into an icing because that wasn't the part of the cookie I loved most — it was the coffee shortbread.

I also like how fast my version can be made because I nixed rolling out the dough and instead just formed logs and sliced off the cookies.

Here's the recipe:

Espresso Shortbread Cookies
(makes 60 plus cookies)
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup raw sugar, optional (for rolling the cookies in before baking)

Place the butter, espresso and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip until smooth and creamy. This takes about 5 minutes.

It will look like this.

Add the sugar and salt and whip again. It will look like this.

Finally, add the flour and mix until a soft dough forms.

Using plastic wrap, shape the dough into logs that are 1.5 x 1-inch rectangles. Place the logs in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

If you want to coat the edges with raw sugar, which I like because it adds a nice crunch to the cookies, spread the sugar on a large piece of parchment or plastic wrap.

Press the sugar evenly all over the log of dough.

Slice the log into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet, being sure to leave at least an inch of space between the cookies.

Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 18 minutes or until golden brown.
As you can see, the cookies grow quite a bit during baking. Transfer the baked cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving. Keep the cookies stored in an airtight container.
Packaged in a cellophane bag with twine and a tag, these cookies make a sweet gift.

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