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Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookies

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Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookies are sophisticated cookies for the adults in the room!  These easy slice and bake cookies are made with espresso powder and dark chocolate chips for a decidedly grown up treat.

Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookies on a table.

You know how I feel about coffee. And I’m pretty sure I’ve made it clear how I feel about chocolate.  And since it’s getting to be that time of year again when cookies come in pretty handy, I’m combining the two into one of my favorite forms, a shortbread cookie.  This is an adult cookie.  It’s got a strong espresso presence and large chunks of barely sweet dark chocolate.  I love the combination, and it fits in beautifully with my growing assortment of shortbread cookies.

Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookie dough rolled into a log for chilling.

The only two kinds of cookies I make, as a general rule, are drop cookies and slice and bake.  The task of rolling out dough, cutting it, then reforming the scraps, etc. usually exceeds my level of patience and energy.  And really, most cookies aren’t worth all that work and mess.

Slices of espresso chip shortbread cookie dough.

Cookie making should be a joy, an easy breezy task that doesn’t create chaos in the kitchen.

Slices of Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookie dough before baking.

My husband walked into the kitchen while these were baking and asked ‘Who’s roasting coffee?’   That was just the effect I was going for.

Btw ~  Like all my shortbread cookies, these are absolutely incredible hot from the oven.

Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookies on a cooling rack.

Tips for making shortbread cookies

  • You can make this dough in a food processor, a stand mixer, with a hand held mixer, or by hand.  I do it with my stand mixer. Just be sure you get the ingredients fully combined, with no dry flour left.
  • Don’t have room temperature butter?  Just zap it for about 15 seconds in the microwave.

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4 from 3 votes

Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookies

Espresso Chip Shortbread Cookies are sophisticated cookies for the adults in the room!  These easy slice and bake cookies are made with espresso powder and dark chocolate chips for a decidedly grown up treat.  
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill time 2 hours
Yield 14 cookies


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar, or superfine sugar
  • 2 Tbsp instant espresso powder, use 1 for a lighter coffee flavor
  • 1 stick, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut in pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 or 2 tsp milk or half and half
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 325F
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly blend the dry ingredients.
  • Add the butter and the vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix on low until the butter is incorporated.  It will seem dry at first, until the butter has a chance to become thoroughly incorporated into the flour.  Add in the milk or half and half a little at a time just until the dough comes together.
  • Turn out onto a surface and mix in the chocolate chips with your hands, distributing well, but don't overwork the dough.
  • Form the dough into a smooth 7 or 8 inch log, on top of parchment, plastic, or waxed paper.
  • Roll the log of dough up with the paper and twist the ends to secure.
  • Refrigerate for about 2 hours until firm.
  • Slice the chilled dough into approximately 1/3 inch slices.  Don't worry if the dough crumbles, just reform them on the baking sheet.
  • Bake on a silpat or parchment lines baking sheet for about 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your slices.  Don't over bake, this shortbread should be silky and creamy, not crisp.
  • Cool on a rack.

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  • Reply
    December 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Can these be frozen instead of just refrigerated?

    • Reply
      December 5, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Yes, absolutely Lauralee.

  • Reply
    December 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Dough is chilling right now. Can hardly wait to try them and share with friends tonight.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 9:37 am

    i love the whole slice-and-bake cookie idea, and chocolate with espresso is never, ever wrong. 🙂

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    September 21, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I’m always on the lookout for a good cookie recipe and I think I’ve just found one of the best! What an excellent idea and combo of flavours. Ive used the roll method before to great effect so this is a great idea. Can’t wait to get baking, for the smell alone this should be worth it!!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 4:28 am

    So, is espresso powder different from regular ground espresso? I use a pretty nice espresso each morning for my coffee and it is powdery… it’s definitely not an instant coffee though. Oh, you just gave me all kinds of great ideas!

    I have had exactly ZERO luck with gluten free shortbreads that taste anything like shortbread should taste. I’m not defeated, but I am once again motivated to figure it out! These sound heavenly.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Adult cookies–yes, please! These sound so good. I might even go the double coffee route and eat them with a latte. 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    September 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I still haven’t made your peanut butter chocolate chip shortbread cookies that looked incredible, and now these look just as good! I’ll have to try them both soon, I love shortbread!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    September 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    An adult cookie with the question of Who’s roasting coffee at the other end of it…YES. These sound perfect and those slices off the log…well, it would be hard for me to actually want to bake those slices and not just taste-test the dough 🙂

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Cookies rarely get better than this. These sound wonderful and your recipe is spot on. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I feel left out that I still have not tried espresso powder! Love shortbread and this is so creative. I bet they just melt in your mouth. Congratulations on another great recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      September 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Tricia, espresso powder is the coolest thing, it’s not at all like instant coffee, it has a really fine texture and it instantly melts into whatever it’s blended into. In this case, the cookie dough contains hardly any liquid, so the little specks of espresso remain, which I like. If you blended the espresso powder into the milk or half and half, however, it would probably give a different effect. I’ll have to try that next time.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    September 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Shortbread texture, coffee flavor and chocolate? This sounds like a winner, Sue! I can’t wait to try them.