Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies are buttery and delicious with a striking flavor combination of strong coffee and warm cardamom ~ these are cookies to linger over!

Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies

There are going to be lots and lots of cookies floating around the Interwebs these next few months, and I’m going to do my best to track down some interesting recipes to bake with you.   I’ll try not to share cookies that you’ve seen a thousand times already.  I’ll try to introduce you to something new and at least a little unusual.  In this case the interest lies in the intense cardamom and coffee flavor in a buttery shortbread style cookie.  I’m giving you added value because it’s dipped in thick, bittersweet chocolate.  Without doubt an adult cookie.

Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies 2

Those are flecks of actual coffee beans in there.  We’re not fooling around.

Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies 3

I have a mild obsession with the flavors of TURKISH COFFEE,  the ground beans and the cardamom linger on the palate and make for a really unique cookie.

Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies

Yield: makes about 4 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp finely ground coffee (espresso or french roast) Use less for a more subtle effect.
  • 1 Tbsp ground cardamom, use less for a more subtle effect.
    chocolate coating
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (chips, or cut in small pieces)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Put the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the butter and salt. Mix together until combined. It doesn't have to be completely smooth.
  3. Mix in the flour, cardamom, and ground coffee until the dough just comes together.
  4. Pull the dough together with your hands and set on a floured surface. Roll out to about 1/4 inch.
  5. Cut out the cookies using your preferred cookie cutter, I used a 2" round.
  6. Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. To make the chocolate coating, put the chocolate and vegetable oil in a small Pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until melted.
  9. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the chocolate, and let the excess drip off. Set the cookies down on parchment paper to harden.


If you want a thicker layer of chocolate, once the cookies are set, give them a double dip. You will need more chocolate in this case. Recipe slightly adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine



chocolate dipped espresso shortbread 2

I’m looking for suggestions, what’s the most unusual cookie you make?

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46 Responses to Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies

  1. nick says:

    ok, i will try with both, green and black cardomin, which one did you use when you made these? the look awesome and an adult wow looking cookie.

  2. Nadia Ashkenazy-Jones says:

    Hi Sue,
    My husband and I wanted to make some cookies for friends who’ve invited us for lunch today. I trawled through the internet yesterday for a good while, and finally came across these which look so sophisticated and have such a good combination of flavours so I decided they were the ones to go for. Just finished making them and they are simply divine, thank you very much! So brilliant having the internet isn’t it … You are from the US, I am Icelandic, my husband is British, and we are currently living in Greece, and now we’ve made Turkish shortbread cookies. Lovely :-)

    • Sue says:

      I’m thrilled they worked out for you Nadia, and I so appreciate you taking the time to come back and report on them…and yes, what a wonderful world we’re living in that a simple recipe can be shared internationally like this!

  3. Kaitlin says:

    Hi Sue,

    If I make the dough ahead of time, could you share some instructions for thawing and baking? Thank you!

    • Sue says:

      What you can do is slice the dough first, then lay the slices on a tray and freeze them solid, then pack them in a sturdy freezer bag or container. You can also freeze the whole log, just wrap it in plastic and put it in a freezer bag. To bake, I would probably thaw the dough first, you can do that overnight in the refrigerator. If you’re short on time, you could set it out on the counter for a couple of hours. If the dough is very cold your baking time might be a little longer. Hope this helps!

  4. LPB says:

    J’ai fait ces biscuits pour des amis et moi. Je prépare régulièrement des biscuits et ceux-ci sont les meilleurs que j’ai cuisinés. Je conserverai précieusement cette recette et la referai souvent! Merci :)

  5. Leah says:

    I tried to make these, but they were impossible to roll out, far to dry to achieve that. i was pretty careful with measurements, but even with a tad more butter and sugar i had no success rolling them out. i’ve pressed them into a cookie pan and will make them a broken style cookie – just put them in the oven – i’ll let you know how that works out. any tips when your dough doesn’t hold together? i live at a fairly high altitude. could this be the problem? is so do you have an adjustment for that? any guidance would be appreciated.

    • Sue says:

      I’m sorry it gave you trouble Leah, here are a few thoughts…possibly you had a bit too much flour, or maybe you needed to mix the dough a bit longer to incorporate the butter thoroughly? I’ve heard that different butters can have different moisture contents, so possibly that was an issue, too. Lately I’ve been making my shortbread dough with room temperature butter, so you could try that. Hope this helps!

      • Shelley K. says:

        I’ve also tried to add 1-1.5 tbsp milk into some of my shortbread cookie doughs and I find that helps. (Although I’ve never had an issue with this particular recipe).

  6. Margaret Johnson says:

    I made these today.(Actually I made the dough last night and froze it, thawed it, turned out great) I didn’t roll them out flat and use a cookie cutter. I rolled it into a log, and cut the cookies from that. Theyre not as perfectly round I suppose but it didn’t matter to me. Thats just how I’m used to making shortbread. These cookies are amazing. Since I dont have turkish coffee I used Sri Lankan (“Expo” brand) coffee which is very finely ground too. They were absolutely delicious. Thank you for posting.

  7. Noelle Perry-Earle says:

    Sue, I have baked A LOT of cookies in my time but I have to tell you these were top five ever. Simply fabulous in every way. They turned out exactly as the photo showed. The dough was easy to work with and the dark chocolate and cardamon melds perfectly with the espresso. Just perfect. Thanks ever so much for these. They’ll be made time and again!

    • Sue says:

      Wow, how about you come back and comment EVERY day, Noelle :) I’m so glad you like them, I think they are unusual and don’t appeal to everybody, but for those who love deep rich coffee, I think they are fun. You’ve made my day!

  8. Erica says:

    I came across this recipe and have been searching for a coffee cookie recipe. After reading the reviews, I can’t wait to give this recipe a try.
    However, how can I make the cookies thin and crispy?

    Can’t wait to try this recipe.
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Alex says:

    Hi there. Tried your recipe yesterday for a friend’s birthday – we both love to drink Turkish coffee. I forgot how I stumbled upon this, but I never imagined it in cookie form until now. DELICIOUS! I will definitely make these again!

  10. sabo says:

    OMG – I’ve finally made them! I have been running around your recipe for awhile by now. They are great!
    I adapted it to German and put it up on my blog. Thx for sharing it! http://www.sabotagebuch.de/wordpress/2015/02/17/kaffeekekse/


  11. […] erwähnt, dass Kekse ausstechen überhaupt nicht meins ist? Um so glücklicher war ich, als mir die Turkish Coffe Shortbread Cookies über den Weg liefen. Das ist doch genau meins. Schnell, wenig Zutaten, kein Ausrollen (okay, ich […]

  12. Kelly says:

    Silly question maybe but do you use green or black cardamom?

    • Sue says:

      Not silly at all! I almost always use green cardamom, Kelly. The black pods are quite strong, and are usually used for savory dishes like curries.

  13. Magda says:

    They look brilliant. I love coffee and it’s been a while since I made cookies!
    Have a great week

  14. Bring on the cookies, I adore them! These look heavenly!

  15. Amanda says:

    You are rockin’ my world with this! So amazing!

  16. I can’t wait for your shortbread cookbook! Oh yes – you need to write one :) These are so creative and beautiful. What a perfect combination of flavors. Love my coffee!

  17. Catherine says:

    These cookies sound wonderful. These are wonderful flavors and the chocolate looks so tempting.

  18. Joanne Rice says:

    May I assume that the cardamom goes in when the ground coffee does?

  19. Susan says:

    My kind of cookie! I love shortbread of all sorts but the coffee bean bits must taste wonderful.

  20. Shortbread cookies are classic, but with the addition of coffee and cardamom flavors they’re definitely new and unusual, and I want some!

  21. Eileen says:

    YES. These guys are definitely going to make an appearance in my kitchen sometime in the next few months — and preferably several appearances. I love how easy they are! Do you think these would work as a slice and bake? I am guessing yes. In that case, I will also stash some in the freezer!

    • Sue says:

      Yes, and that’s the way I do most of my shortbread cookies. I will say that you would need to slice these fairly thin, though, because the flavor is strong, I think a thick cookie would be overpowering.

  22. These sound delicious. Love the combination of cardamon and coffee. And I love that you’re going to be tracking down unusual/new combinations. It’s about to become cookie overload season, so I certainly looking for something above the standard Christmas sugar cookies and ginger snaps. These are certainly on my “to-make” list!

  23. You really need to do a book on shortbread. Yours are the best! I think I might develop a minor obsession with these, too!

  24. savvy says:

    A perfect holiday GROWN-UP cookie!! Thanks-esp since I do attend a cookie swap in early Dec!! These look divine!!

  25. cheri says:

    Hi Sue, these cookies have my name written all over them. love everything about them especially the cardamom.

  26. Monique says:

    They look exciting to me:)

  27. Mary says:

    These cookies sound divine, Sue! The most unusual cookie I’ve made is definitely pfeffernusse. A friend requested them last year and I’ve never tasted anything like them. It’s definitely a love it or hate it flavor combination. I don’t know anyone who is neutral on them. Luckily, my husband adores them.

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