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!
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.