This recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, flavourful and buttery Espresso Cardamom Shortbread Cookies is perfect for Christmas and the holiday season.Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
Some of my favourite seasonal recipes for this time of the year include shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies are a timeless treat and can be found on just about every baker's must make cookie list for Christmas and the holiday season.
Shortbread cookies can be found plain made with only the essential butter, flour and sugar. Other varieties can include chopped nuts, chocolate or flavouring such as citrus or spices.
With so many options and flavour combinations possible, it wouldn't be difficult to fill a cookie tray with a variety of shortbread cookies alone.
How to Make Flavoured Shortbread
This year I'm including an espresso-infused and cardamom-spiced shortbread cookie on my dessert tray. Those of you familiar with Turkish coffee will understand how well these two flavours are suited to each other.
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Ground cardamom
- Instant espresso
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioner sugar, also known as powdered or icing sugar.
Preheat the oven and lightly butter the baking pan.
Dissolve the instant espresso in the vanilla and set it aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, cardamom and salt.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and then add the confectioners' sugar, the espresso and vanilla mixture and beat until creamy. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat until well combined.
Transfer the dough into the pan and spread the dough by pressing lightly to ensure it is evenly distributed into the pan.
Before baking, evenly cut the dough (cutting all the way through) into 40 cookie bars. Prick each cookie with a fork 3 times. Bake the shortbread turning the pan once halfway through the baking time.
Let the shortbread cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes before using a small knife to re-cut the cookies along the lines. Let the cookies cool entirely before removing them from the pan.
I don't think these cookies need any icing but if you wanted to dress them up a bit you could add a drizzle of melted chocolate.
Simply melt semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips in the microwave oven in 25 seconds increments, stirring after each increment until fully melted.
Pour the chocolate into a pastry bag with a very small tip or use a small plastic bag and cut off a tiny corner and drizzle the chocolate from top to bottom onto the cookies.
Let the chocolate set before packing the cookies and make sure to store them in a cool place so the chocolate doesn't melt.
Calories in Shorbread:
Assuming you have divided the pan of shortbread into 40 cookies, each shortbread piece would contain 117 calories (this is without the chocolate drizzle).
How to Serve:
These cookies are rich with butter, perfectly tender and with a hint of cardamom. They are wonderful for enjoying with (or dunking in) a cup of tea or coffee.
How to Store:
Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Shortbread can also be frozen for up to six months. To freeze shortbread cookies, pack them in an airtight container with parchment paper in between the layers. Defrost cookies in the refrigerator overnight.
If you have room for one more treat on your Christmas and holiday cookie making list then make sure to add this recipe for Espresso and Cardamom Shortbread Cookies, you'll be happy you did.
More Cookies to Enjoy
- Matcha Sugar Cookies
- Italian Amaretti Cookies
- Hazelnut and Almond Crescents
- Powdered Sugar Almond Cookies
Espresso Cardamom Shortbread CookiesAdapted from Fine Cooking
- 1-½ cups unsalted butter softened
- 3-⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1-½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso
- 1-½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1-⅓ cups confectioner sugar powdered (icing) sugar
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.
- Lightly butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
- Dissolve the instant espresso in the vanilla. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, cardamom and salt. Whisk and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, the espresso and vanilla mixture and beat until creamy.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once or twice.
- Transfer the dough into the pan and spread it pressing lightly to ensure the dough is evenly distributed into the pan.
- Before baking, evenly cut the dough (cutting all the way-through) into 40 cookie bars. Prick each cookie with a fork 3 times.
- Bake, turning the pan once after 15 minutes. Continue baking until the top is dry and lightly golden, it should take about 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Remove the shortbread from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes before using a small knife to re-cut the cookies along the lines. Let the cookies cool entirely before removing them from the pan.
- Shortbread can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks. Cookies can also be frozen for up to six months. Pack shortbread in an airtight freezer container with parchment or wax paper between layers of cookies.
This post was originally published in November 2017, it has been updated with new content.