Shortbread cookies are a staple around here, especially for the Holiday’s. I’ve borrowed some flavour inspiration from one of my favourite seasonal beverages, Peppermint Mocha, and infused these cookies with espresso, chocolate, and peppermint.
Show of hands, did anyone else agree to take part in a Cookie Exchange this year? I know I’m not the only one.
Now I have to make 7-dozen of the same cookie, and package them up all fancy. If I was ever going to willingly bake 144 cookies, they would ideally be a variety, and I’d end up storing them all together in my white and blue Tupperware Season-Serve container , which I think is designed for marinating meat. Mine has never actually been used for meat – only cookies and other baked goods, because it’s the perfect size and shape, and airtight.
I’ve been trying to narrow down the list of cookie options, but there are so many delicious ones to choose from, like my Bourbon Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Chunk and Pretzel Cookies, or perhaps my White Chocolate Lentil Shortbread. How is a girl supposed to choose? To make the decision even tougher, I got the bright idea to transform one of my fave seasonal beverages into a cookie.
Truth be told, I have a hard time getting on board with most seasonal drinks at the local coffee shops …*cough cough* Pumpkin Spice anything. My one exception is Peppermint Mocha. I always forget how much I love it, until it turns up on the menu and refreshes my memory. It’s Christmasy, comforting and nostalgic, so it makes sense to turn it into a cookie.
Cookie exchanges are a fun way to get together with your friends and celebrate the season and share your favourite holiday treats, if you can narrow down your list of favourites to just one. I was struggling with this until the first batch of these Peppermint Mocha Shortbread cookies came out of the oven. These cookies are soft, studded with chocolate chips, have a subtle coffee nuance, a kick of peppermint and they don’t cost $5 each time I want one.
Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookies
- 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water, and set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla, peppermint and espresso.
- Reduce speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips with a sturdy rubber spatula.
- Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn't cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into squares or rectangles. I cut mine into rectangle bars about 1x2 inches. Transfer the cut cookies to the baking sheet and carefully dock each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines into the dough. Be sure not to go through the dough, as it will likely cause the cookie to crumble.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. The shortbread will be very pale. They shouldn't take on much color.
- Transfer the cookies rack to cool completely.
Adapted from these Espresso Shortbread Cookies