Shortbread is probably my favorite cookie. I don’t make them often, but when I do I tend to eat the entire batch myself. A few weeks ago in my This and That I mentioned this Espresso and Cardamom Shortbread by Sweet and Savoury Pursuits.
From my Chocolate+Turkish Coffee Cookies to my Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Ice Cream. you can tell that putting coffee into sweet treats is one of my favorite flavor combinations. So when I saw this shortbread on Pinterest I knew I had to try it.
It did not disappoint! Because I very rarely make shortbread, I did not make any adjustments to the recipe and followed it to the letter.
First you dissolve instant espresso in vanilla extract. This was a totally new concept to me! At first I was skeptical that the instant espresso would dissolve in such a small amount of liquid, but it totally worked! The aroma of the vanilla and espresso was heavenly. Then you cream together butter, confectioner’s sugar and the espresso/vanilla in an electric mixer. Even if the shortbread had not turned out well, I am glad I tried this recipe because the combo above, with a different butter:sugar ratio, would be the PERFECT espresso frosting.
After everything is well mixed, you add your dry ingredients that you mixed together in a separate bowl. This results in thick, not quite crumbly dough. The instructions then say to press the dough evenly into a greased 9×13 pan. This was the only issue I had with the recipe, I personally didn’t feel there was enough dough to evenly spread in such a large pan. So I spread it as far as I could without sacrificing thickness. Then you score our your bars.
After scoring and dotting your bars, you bake at 325°F for 30 minutes, rotating once. After I pulled these guys out of the oven, I had to try them. The espresso and cardamom flavors are subtle, resulting in a rich, toasty flavor that my mom couldn’t quite pinpoint, but really enjoyed. She described it as a caramel. I’ll agree that the espresso lends a warm rich flavor that combined with the buttery shortbread does come across as a little caramel-like. Which we loved.
I have had about 6 with my morning coffee this a.m. They just go so well dunked in my morning joe! All in all, I really enjoyed this shortbread, the flavor is warm and comforting, and these cookies were a cinch to put together.
For the recipe be sure to hop over to Sweet and Savoury Pursuits and give it a go!