Sweets

Espresso Shortbread Cookies

If I’m being totally honest here, which I always try to be, coffee is not my favorite. Sure, I don’t mind a coffee drink that’s 75% sugar and cream, but anything less than that, and it’s just not for me.

With that being said, I understand the importance of coffee. Coffee in chocolate cakes takes a plain ole’ chocolate cake to an absolute marvel of a chocolate cake. I even had a coffee encrusted ham once that my cousin made that was so delicious it could’ve made you cry.

So even though I may not drink the dark caffeinated liquid, I understand coffee and the need for it in my pantry. This is why, when I had to make a delicious cookie for my girls’ weekend, I decided to dust off my instant espresso powder in the pantry and put it to work!

My girls’ weekend involves four the women closest to me, who I know love themselves some coffee. My sister drinks one, possibly two cups a day! I knew she would love these cookies! I wanted this to be the best cookie they’ve ever had, but also a unique version of coffee they haven’t experienced yet! Plus I figured we could use the caffeine for the late nights!

However, I really wanted to make sure I balanced the bitter taste that can sometimes come along with coffee. Like you know that taste when you eat something sweet, like pancakes, and then sip your coffee? It’s like your taste buds were so used to the sweetness that the bitterness from the coffee shocks them! My solution to this problem was cinnamon!

Cinnamon is a wonderful spice! I love how warm and cozy and absolutely delicious this spice is! Cinnamon can be used in a variety of ways, and is friends with a ton of other strong spices as well! Since I knew that cinnamon places nice with bold flavors, I figured that the warmth of the cinnamon would help pull out the strong coffee notes in the espresso, while leaving the bitterness behind!

Oh boy, let me tell you, cinnamon and instant espresso powder are the best of friends! I mean, when you bite into these cookies, you’ll understand right away! They are warm, spicy, and have a beautiful note of coffee throughout! I love how the cinnamon just warms up the coffee flavor, and the buttery cookie just melts in your mouth! These little cookies might just be one of my favorite cookies ever, and that’s really saying something for someone that doesn’t even drink coffee!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of flour

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

3/4 cup of sugar

A heaping 1/2 tablespoon of instant espresso powder

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

A pinch of salt

Begin by creaming together the butter and the sugar. Once the mixture turns to a pale yellow color and the sugar is completely mixed in, begin to add in the dry ingredients. Add in the flour, instant espresso powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. With the mixer set on slow, begin to mix the ingredients together. The dough will be super crumbly, it’ll probably look like it hasn’t come together. But, the dough is ready when you can pick up some dough, squish it between your fingers, and it holds together!

Pour the dough onto a large sheet of cling wrap. Picking up two sides of the cling wrap, push them onto the top of the crumbly dough to smush it together. Pick up the other two sides of the cling wrap and do the same process to help squish the dough together. After about 3-4 times doing this, the dough should hold it’s shape. Form into a rough circle and place in the fridge for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge and dust a cutting board with flour. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick. I like to cut out circles with my dough, but you can do whatever shape you like the best! Then place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. They might be slightly soft when you pull them out of the oven, but as they cool they’ll firm up slightly! The bottoms should be slightly golden brown when they’re done!

Serve these with milk, tea, coffee, espresso, you name it!

I love how the espresso plays so nicely with the cinnamon and vanilla in the cookie! If you’re not a huge lover of coffee, don’t worry, the coffee flavor is very mild with a nice aftertaste at the end! These little cookies have such a warm and cozy vibe to them, they’ll be perfect in the winter! Maybe Santa will be able to satisfy his sweet tooth and get his caffeine kick in the same go this year!

-Holly Michelle

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