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4 Time Winner

Mocha Shortbread Cookies Tested Recipe

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Mocha Shortbreads Recipe

These buttery, melt-in-your mouth Mocha Shortbreads are dressed for the holidays with their pretty ribbons and bows made with melted white chocolate. This is when you can have some fun with your cookie decorating, so get as creative as you like with your piping bag. I love to give these cookies to family and friends at Christmas.

Shortbreads, by definition, have a buttery flavor and a creamy smooth texture. These Mocha Shortbreads, as their name implies, are mocha flavored which comes from adding unsweetened cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, and a nice dose of pure vanilla extract. Now, as I have said before, a shortbread will only taste as good as the ingredients you use. So use the best unsalted butter you can afford and make sure the vanilla extract is labeled "pure". While you could use regular unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe, I much prefer the mild delicate flavor of Dutch processed. Droste is a good brand, but my personal favorite is Valrhona which can be found in some specialty food stores or it can be ordered on line from Chocosphere. For the instant espresso powder, my favorite brand is Medaglia D'Oro which can be found in some specialty food stores or there are many on line sources. The melt-in-your mouth texture of these shortbreads comes from adding a little cornstarch (corn flour) to the batter. Rice flour could also be used. Since it is always difficult to know when a chocolate cookie is fully baked, watch these shortbread carefully as they are done when the edges are dry but the center still looks a little wet (a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

This mocha shortbread recipe is adatped from a great little baking book called "Cindy's Itty Bitty Baking Book". What is so unique about this book, is that all the recipes are made in miniature. 

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Cranberry & White Chocolate Shortbreads

Mocha Shortbreads: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 15 x 10 inch (38 x 25 cm) baking pan. 

In a small bowl, sift the confectioners sugar with the cocoa powder. 

In another bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch and salt together. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and cocoa mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and espresso powder and beat until incorporated. Then add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until the dough just comes together.

Spread the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan and gently press the dough, with your fingertips or the back of a spoon, to form an even layer. Then, with a sharp knife, score the top of the shortbread into approximately 3 inch x 1 inch (7 x 2.5 cm) fingers. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the top is dry and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. While the shortbread is still warm, re-cut the shortbread into fingers. Cool completely before removing from pan. 

If you want to garnish the shortbread fingers with white chocolate; in a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the white chocolate with the vegetable shortening. Then place the melted chocolate into a paper cone or pastry bag fitted with a 1/16 inch tip. Carefully pipe a thin line of chocolate across the center of each cookie and then pipe another line across the first one to make them look like presents. Don't worry about making your lines exact. These shortbreads can be frozen.

Makes about 50 shortbreads

Adapted From:

Brooks, Cindy. Cindy's Itty Bitty Baking Book. Hearst Communications. New York: 1995.

Mocha Shortbreads:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

3/4 cup (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-processed)

2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons (25 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (8 grams) instant espresso powder


3 ounces (90 grams) white chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon vegetable shortening





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