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Seasonal Shortbreads: Peppermint and Chocolate-Covered Espresso Bean Shortbread Cookies

Food blogging stars Jennifer, at the Domestic Goddess, and Alberto, at Il Forno combined forces this month to arrange a joint event of Sugar High Friday and Is My Blog Burning?. I guess that makes this month’s cookie swap fall under the heading of Is My Sugar High Burning?

These shortbread cookies are crisp and crumbly. They are fairly thin, which creates a nice ratio of topping to biscuit. I really like crumbly shortbread and the use of cornstarch instead of part of the flour makes these quite crumbly. Keep an eye on them as they bake; their thinness can cause them to go from perfect to a bit overdone in a short preiod of time.
Some people loved the peppermint topping, which was very good, but I loved the chocolate covered espresso bean shortbreads. They had an extra coffee kick that only espresso beans can provide, but they’re not overwhelming because of the chocolate. My chocolate covered espresso beans had a fairly thick dark chocolate coating. I personally wouldn’t have minded even more coffee, but I think that having a bit more chocolate gives them a more widespread appeal.
You can’t go wrong with shorbread around the holidays and you definately can’t deny that these look gorgeous on a cookie plate. Easy to make and even easier to eat.

Seasonal Shortbreads

1 cup butter, cold and cut into a few large pieces
½ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp vanilla
1/3 cup each crushed peppermint sticks
1/3 cup coarsely chopped chocolate covered espresso beans

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9×13 inch sheet/jelly roll pan with parchment or aluminum foil.
Combine butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add flour, corstarch and vanilla and pulse until dough comes together into a ball.
Press into prepared baking sheet (dough should be about ¼ inch thick). It’s ok if it doesn’t go all the way into the corners of the pan. Spread peppermint sticks over half the batter and chocolate covered espresso beans over the other half. Press lightly but firmly into the dough.
Bake at 325F for 30-40 minutes, until light golden brown.
Cool for 5 minutes, then slice into small rectangles with a sharp knife. Let cool in pan.
Makes 36 cookies.

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  • J
    November 25, 2005

    hi nic, your spectacular seasonal shortbreads are spectacular indeed! what a gorgeous entry…thanks for sharing the recipe

  • Cindy
    November 25, 2005

    They look real good !

  • Nupur
    November 26, 2005

    They look delicious and very festive!

  • darlamay
    November 26, 2005

    I LOVE shortbread, it’s probably my favorite holiday cookie. Some girls from work are getting together for a big cookie-bake and I’m bringing these recipes in tow!

    P.S. I just found out about Blogging by mail and am rally excited to join the next one! GREAT idea.

  • lisaSD
    November 26, 2005

    Nic–I LOVE shortbread (did one for the last SHF) and am always excited to find new recipes for it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  • Anne
    November 26, 2005

    Oh wow, those look incredibly tasty! Yum!

  • chronicler
    November 26, 2005

    Hi Nic! These look very good! I would have never paired shortbread with peppermint! Now I’m going to give it a try!

  • Sarah Lou
    November 26, 2005

    Thank-you for giving us some delicious eye candy to drool over. Besides gingerbread, shortbread is my favourite Christmas cookie.

  • linda
    November 26, 2005

    I think i have to try the chocolate espresso topped shortbread! Looks excellent..

  • hbgrrl
    November 26, 2005

    Hi Nic–
    these are just the thing for holidays. I was looking for something different other than my usual mini-breads.

    Now I have an excuse to indulge in some Plugra butter.

  • Randi
    November 26, 2005

    ryn: The pie was great. I was really surprised about the streusel too, since there was so little fat in it and it contained water. I love the pie filling, in fact, I’ll make it again and bake it in ramekins without the crust. I used the Kroger fat free sweetened cond. milk and it was on sale for 1.00. Kroger is the parent company of Ralphs. So no need to buy the expensive eagle brand.

  • glutton rabbit
    November 26, 2005

    Nic! These shortbreads looks so scrumptious! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I would love to try it out!

  • Cathy
    November 26, 2005

    Hi Nic – what a great idea! They sound delicious.

  • LERA
    November 27, 2005

    Looks great!!

  • Anna
    November 27, 2005

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one baking the day after Thanksgiving.

  • Nic
    November 27, 2005

    J, Cindy and Nupur – You’re so sweet. Thanks!

    Darlamay – The next round will be announced in the next few weeks.

    LisaSD – Shortbread is like a blank canvas, that’s why I love it.

    Anne – Thanks!

    Chronicler – Now that I think about it, it’s not a very common combination.

    Sarah Lou – Eye candy is what I’m here for. =)

    Linda – I do hope you like them!

    hbgrrl – I actually used Plugra butter for these, myself, so I think that’s a great idea.

    Randi – Thanks for letting me know how it turned out. It looked so delicious.

    Glutton rabbit, Cathy, Lera – Thanks guys.

    Anna – I think that we’re not the only ones, either.

  • Alice
    November 27, 2005

    These sound awesome! I bet they taste great, too…one right after the other!

  • McAuliflower
    November 29, 2005


    Sweets and I just treated ourselves to ice cream cones for our walk home yesterday. The fates agreed with us and it didn’t rain on us! It was fun catching the envious looks of cars passing us on the street- those crazy kids, ice cream in this weather?!, but we could tell they were just jealous 🙂

    So what does this have to do with your post? I had a peppermint candy ice cream cone, and Sweets had a Tiger Stripe one (coffee ice cream with fudge stripes and crushed espresso beans)- just like your shortbread.

    Through our sharing we realized the perfect complement of these two flavors side by side- its smashing!

    I think I might try the peppermint on top of the choc-espresso beans!

  • The UnProfessional Chef
    November 29, 2005

    This looks wonderful! Will try them out for sure

  • Claudia
    December 2, 2005

    They really look delicious! Calories? Who cares? 😉 I really love shortbread and this recipe seems to be a nice little enrichment to the standard recipe!

  • Anonymous
    January 20, 2006

    Anyone have a recipe for chocolate covered espresso beans that have a THICK coating of chocolate? I tried just dipping them in a melted chocolate and got a very wimpy coating. I need a DARK chocolate taste. Thanks!

  • Nic
    January 21, 2006

    I would recommend dipping them in chocolate multiple times if you want a thick coating. If there is a Trader Joe’s near you, their dark chocolate expresso beans have a very thick coating of chocolate.

  • jacki
    December 6, 2009

    please could you put the british equvalant to yoursome or your recipes as they sound so good

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