Espresso Chocolate Shortbread

Harold Harrell
Written by Harold Harrell

Putting shortbread cookies together is incredibly easy and the addition of coffee gives this classic recipe a whole new personality. They’re a favorite staple baked good around the holidays, but every now and then you might get a craving for one in the middle of August. This recipe is simple and will also give you that boost of energy from the caffeine, if that’s what you’re looking for. Now get your apron on, get your baking gear together, and let’s get this baking adventure started.


  • 1 pound unsalted, room temperate butter, adjust to your preference
  • 1/2 cup coffee – I used an espresso grind, but you can use regular drip grind with success.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


We will start off by making the coffee butter. Butter and coffee were made for each other in this instance. In a small sauce pan, heat the butter and coffee together on medium-low heat. Stir constantly to avoid burning the coffee grounds. If you are concerned about letting your grounds cook for too long, you can use a double boiler to avoid direct heat. Don’t allow the butter to reach a temperature over 101 degrees. If you’re looking to maintain that freshly ground coffee aroma, keeping the heat at a lower level will definitely help with this. Once it is completely melted, remove it from the heat and let it sit until it reaches room temperature.

Now it’s time to make the dough! Cream both the coffee butter and the sugar together. Add the vanilla and continue to mix. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt and slowly add to the butter sugar mixture. Once the dough is formed, lay it out on a floured surface and roll to about 1/2 inch thickness. You’re free to use either a cookie cutter or you can just cut them into rectangles. Whatever you decide. Lay the cookies out on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until you see slight browning around the edges. Let the cookies cool.

To make the chocolate… it’s okay to do a little cheating. You can go the long way and do the long version of things or you can use the fool proof, less time consuming method by using a microwave to melt the chocolate. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, drizzle with the oil and microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate has melted. Doing the melting in intervals will keep you from burning it. Burnt chocolate is definitely not as tasty. Still tasty, of course, but not for this recipe. Next, take those freshly baked cookies and dip them in the melted chocolate and lay them on parchment paper. Place them in the refrigerator to cool until the chocolate is hard, then remove them from the parchment paper.

Now that you’ve just baked the most delicious cookies you can ever imagine, serve them up to everyone you know. Friends, family, even strangers! Or you can keep them as a sweet treat for yourself.

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