Short Stuff

Shortbread is one of my favorite things to bake for the holiday season.  It’s easy to make, and it’s particularly easy to prepare ahead and store in the freezer until you’d like to serve it.  Additionally, shortbread makes a most welcome gift. It’s hard to improve upon classic shortbread, but one of my favorite variations is this coffee-toffee recipe.IMG_2641 Pure butter, a soft winter wheat flour like White Lily, and good vanilla are critical.  You’ll also need 10x sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, and toffee bits.
IMG_2638 Slice-and-Bake Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup 10x sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup toffee bits, such as Heath
1 tablespoon espresso powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Wax paper or plastic wrap
1. Beat 1 cup softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup 10x sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract, espresso powder, and toffee bits until blended.
2. Stir together 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt.
3. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
4. Shape shortbread dough into 2 (7-inch) logs.  (I shape mine so that the cookies will be square when sliced.  I also press turbinado sugar crystals onto each side to make them a little more sparkly!) Wrap each log in wax paper or plastic wrap and place in a zip-top freezer bag. Chill 4 hours, or freeze up to 1 month.IMG_2657
5.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°.
6. If frozen, let logs stand at room temperature about five minutes. Cut each log into about 24 slices. Place shortbread slices 1 inch apart on lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets.IMG_2659
7. Bake shortbread slices at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of slices are just golden.
8. Remove shortbread from baking sheets; let cool completely (about 20 minutes). Store in airtight containers.  IMG_2668
Oh, the crumbly goodness!  I have three rolls waiting in the freezer along with a cranberry-pistachio version, which is a lovely Christmas cookie to keep on hand.
What is your favorite cookie to bake this time of year?

13 comments:

  1. Oh dear - scared to make these! I already loved shortbread but the addition of two of my favorite things - coffee and toffee might just make these a tad too irrestible!

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  2. I LOVE to COOK...BAKE, not so much! However, I do whip up a few cookies this time of year. I will make press cookies in bright colors and peanut butter kisses. You make these shortbread cookies look so easy....I may just have to try your advice!

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  3. At the risk of being a buzzkill, perhaps you could alos post the caloric info? ;-)

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  4. Well I don't care about the calories, but do you think I could put cocoa powder instead of esspresso powder?

    My brood does not dig coffee flavor.

    ;)

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  5. Calories, um, yes, well. I say eat two or three, and then give the rest away! As for cocoa powder, I suppose you could try it, but I would probably just leave them at toffee flavor, if you don't care for coffee flavor.

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  6. That sounds and looks so good! My favorite cookies are,well, that's tough because I love them all. Anything chocolate, how's that? :)

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  7. I'm on a baking frenzy trying to get all the baking done for teachers and other gifts... cranberry pistachio... a perfect combinationn. Adding these to my list! (Hop on over to the Entertaining Kitchen. Just made an eggnog pound cake that was super easy and super delicious!!)

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  8. Love, love, love shortbread! I can only imagine how incredible your version is. I bet they make the house smell so yummy when they're baking! I'd love to try it. Thank you for sharing the recipe...I forgot to mention last time how gorgeous your new header is. Hope you're having a great weekend!

    H.H.

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  9. Putting this recipe in my Paprika App on the iPad RIGHT NOW!

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  10. Oh, yum! I love shortbread cookies.

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  11. I agree that you can't go wrong tweaking it if you are adding coffee and toffee! 2 of my favorite things! This sound so delicious and would definitely make a good gift for neighbors and friends. Thanks so much for linking up to our cookie exchange!
    Vanessa
    P.S. It has truly been a pleasure meeting you here in blogland! :-)

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Thanks for taking time to leave a comment! I love hearing your thoughts.

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