Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

I’ve heard people say that these cookies will, at some point, replace currency. That’s how good they are. They are crunchy, smooth, buttery, and not mind-blowingly sweet. They’re a hit at parties and are decadent in their simplicity.

Adapted from a recipe posted here.

Time: 45 minutes total
Yield: 32 cookies

1 tablespoon* (15ml) instant coffee or espresso powder
1 tablespoon* (15ml) boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces, or 225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup icing (powdered) sugar
 + more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces (135 g) of dark chocolate, finely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

NOTE: These are US tablespoons – they are 15ml, not 20ml like AU tablespoons. If you’re in Australia, it’s 2/3 of a tablespoon.

1. Dissolve the instant coffee in boiling water, and leave it to cool down.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until it’s smooth. Beat in the vanilla and coffee next, then beat in the flour a bit at a time until it’s all incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips/pieces until it’s all mixed together.
3. Then, roll out the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet. It should be about 1/4 inch (bit over half a centimeter) thick. Cover the dough with cling wrap and freeze for 30 minutes until the dough becomes stiff.
4. While the dough is freezing, preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or grease-proof paper.
5. Once the dough is stiff but not entirely frozen, take the dough out of the freezer and cut into 1 1/2 inch (about 4cm) squares. Place onto the lined baking sheets.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. If your oven has uneven heating, make sure to swap out which pan is on which rack, as well. The shortbreads will still be about the same color, they stay pale and don’t brown.
7. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, and if you choose, dust with icing (powdered) sugar while they are still hot. I chose to press mine into the sugar.