Espresso Sugar Shortbread with Toasted Hazelnuts

Espresso Sugar Shortbread is the perfect coffee break recipe --- it's guaranteed to perk you up! |

Espresso Sugar Shortbread with Toasted Hazelnuts is hands down my new favorite coffee break snack — if your energy is flagging, this is guaranteed to pick you up!

Espresso Sugar Shortbread with toasted walnuts is rich, nutty, and caffeinated!|

I created a special flavored sugar for this espresso sugar shortbread with toasted hazelnuts  just like I did with my LEMON SUGAR SHORTBREAD.  This one infuses the buttery shortbread dough with a kick of caffeine. I could have definitely left it at that and had a wonderful recipe, but I took it over the top with a big handful of roasted hazelnuts. It’s rich, nutty, and caffeinated. Perfect with your morning cup of coffee, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or of course after dinner! It’s the perfect all-day cookie.

Espresso sugar for making Espresso Sugar Shotbread --- coffee beans are ground and mixed with sugar to make a knock your sokcs off caffeinated sweetener for baking and more!

Making Espresso Sugar for Espresso Sugar Shortbread with toasted hazelnuts |

The espresso sugar is simply sugar that is processed with freshly ground coffee. The processing actually helps force the coffee flavor into the sugar. You’ll have more than you need for this recipe, so you can keep it for another use. I’d make brownies with it, or maybe add it to your next batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Espresso Sugar Shortbread with Toasted Hazelnuts recipe |

If you like the idea of a coffee infused shortbread, I have lots of other recipes on the blog…I have an ESPRESSO HAZELNUT SHORTBREAD COOKIE a TURKISH COFFEE SHORTBREAD COOKIE, and if you’re a chocolate lover, really rich DEEPEST CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CHIP COOKIES.


Espresso Sugar Shortbread is the perfect coffee break recipe --- it's guaranteed to perk you up! |
3.25 from 4 votes

Espresso Sugar Shortbread with Toasted Hazelnuts

Author Sue Moran


  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup espresso sugar (recipe below)
  • 5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped toasted hazelnuts toast them in a dry pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until they turn brown and smell nutty --- stir almost constantly
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter melted (1 1/4 cups, or 10 ounces)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

espresso sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 Tbsp finely ground espresso or dark roast coffee


  • Set oven to 350F
  • To make the espresso sugar, put the sugar and ground coffee in a food processor and process for about a minute until the two are well combined. You will have more than you need for this recipe, store the rest in a jar.
  • To make the shortbread, put the flour, sugar, and cornstarch and nuts into the bowl of the food processor (you can also do this by hand) and pulse to combine.
  • Stir the vanilla into the melted butter and add it to the flour mixture. Pulse about 20 times or so until all the dough is crumbly but just coming together.
  • Press the dough with your fingers into a 10" tart pan with a removable bottom. Take a minute to get the dough evenly distributed and flat. Use the tines of a fork to prick the surface of the dough all over.
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the shortbread is just starting to turn golden around the edges.
  • Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then lift the bottom out and slice it into 16 triangles. It is easiest to slice the dough when it is still warm, but it will be delicate, especially at the point end so take care when you move the slices.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • You can leave the nuts out if you like, or substitute dark chocolate chips…now that would be good!
  • You could add a bit of cardamom to the dough to give it a Turkish coffee vibe.
  • If you make this is anything smaller than a 10″ tart pan, the cooking time will be slightly longer. I personally like shortbread that is a little underdone, but that’s a personal preference. The longer you cook it the crisper it will be.


Don’t forget to pin this Espresso Sugar Shortbread with Toasted Hazelnuts!

Espresso Sugar Shortbread with Toasted Hazelnuts is hands down my new favorite coffee break snack --- if your energy is flagging, this is guaranteed to pick you up! #espresso #shortbread #cookies #hazelnut #coffee #dessert #shortbreadrecipe #hazelnutshortbread #coffeeshortbread

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Can these be made with rice flour to make them gluten free?

    • Reply
      May 7, 2017 at 8:42 am

      I’m not sure about rice flour, Brandy, but you can make it with a good gluten free flour mix like Bob’s Red Mill’s. Let us know if you try it with rice flour.

      • Reply
        May 7, 2017 at 8:56 am

        I have used rice flour to make Gluten Free Roux in the past. That’s why I thought of it. I cook for a sorority and this upcoming week is finals week. I thought the girls would enjoy these!

        • Reply
          May 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm

          What a fun job! Good luck with the recipe!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Don’t know why..but all your posts arrived just now..

    they look perfect!

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 8:30 am

      That’s strange!

  • Reply
    Sue R
    May 28, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Another amazing recipe and can’t wait to try it. Yum!!! I would love though if you could possibly use weights with a scale for things like this though for those that have it. Cups in one country aren’t the same as it is in others and with baking it really can make the difference on if the end products will work or not.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 21, 2016 at 7:49 am

    This looks out of this world, Sue. You are quite a baker, my friend.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you, Sue! Fantastic idea of combining coffee grounds in shortbread! I made it today, came out just like on your photo! I added a bit of cardamon as per your advise which really made it taste like Turkish coffee. The only thing I’m not too happy is that it turned out too crumbly. So I’m thinking of adding a few yolks next time. What do you think?

    • Reply
      May 20, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      I would maybe cut down on the cornstarch before I would add eggs, Julia. Try that first,

      • Reply
        May 23, 2016 at 8:17 am

        Thanks, by the way, what’s the purpose of cornstarch here? Can I skip it at all?

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    May 19, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I have never met a shortbread I haven’t loved Sue! And one with espresso?? Count me in!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      me too Mary Ann 🙂

  • Reply
    Jeff @ Make It Like a Man!
    May 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I love shortbread! And espresso! Since I’d normally be having one with the shortbread, might as well have them all in one. I love the sandy color. Thanks for the tip about making espresso sugar!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Thanks Jeff, I was thinking the sandy color was a little dull for photographs, but I agree, it’s so appealing irl!

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    May 18, 2016 at 4:05 am

    Wow, this is beautiful, Sue! This would be a great treat for holiday times when we’ve got loads of house guests. Love it!

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    May 17, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    You continue to entice me with these awesome short breads! This could be my very favorite yet! I’m not a coffee drinker, but I sure do love to flavor things with it!

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