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Mocha Shortbread Cookies

Mocha Shortbreads: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 12 x 9 inch (30 x 23 cm) baking pan. 

In a bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and espresso powder and beat until incorporated. Then add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until the batter just comes together.

Spread the batter onto the bottom of the prepared pan and gently press the batter, 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 (don't cut all the way through the shortbread batter) into approximately 2 x 2 1/4 inch (5 x 5.75 cm) squares. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the shortbread look dry, yet the center still looks a little under done. Also, a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (do not over bake or the shortbreads will be dry tasting). Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. While the shortbread is still warm, re-cut into squares. Cool completely before removing from pan. 

Garnish: If you want to garnish the shortbreads with white chocolate; in a small heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the white chocolate (or you can carefully melt the chocolate in the microwave). Then place the melted chocolate into a paper cone or pastry bag fitted with a small plain 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. These shortbreads can be stored at room temperature for about 5 days or they can be frozen.

Makes about 24 shortbreads

Mocha Shortbreads:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-processsed or natural unsweetened)

2 tablespoons (18 grams) cornstarch (or rice flour)

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon (3 grams) instant espresso powder


2 ounces (60 grams) white chocolate, coarsely chopped