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12 Days of Cookies Day 2: Espresso Shortbread

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We’re revisiting a popular (and award winning) program at AVRL: The 12 Days of Cookies! From 2011 to 2017, AVRL staff baked and shared cookies with library visitors across the Annapolis Valley for 12 delicious days over the holiday season. Each recipe was a family favourite or a recipe from a cookbook found in the AVRL catalogue. While we are not able to share cookies the same way this year, we can still share the classic recipes for you to try at home!

This was originally posted on Monday, 5 December 2011

Sally MacDonald, who works at our Headquarters Office, has baked Espresso Shortbread from Martha Stewart’s Holidays: recipes, gifts, and decorations, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Perfect treat with a cup of tea or coffee on a cold winter’s day. Sally’s cookies are making their way to the Annapolis Royal branch today!

Here’s the recipe:

Espresso Shortbread


A simple shortbread with a sophisticated coffee flavor

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon powdered instant coffee2 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and coffee.
  2. Sift together flour and salt ; add to butter mixture and beat well.
  3. Chill dough until firm.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  5. Roll dough ¼ inch thick and cut into 2-inch-by 5-inch bars.
  6. Prick with a fork. Score middles of bars with a knife.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Sally’s Tips: Since I can’t leave any recipe alone, I changed this a bit. I used the same ingredients, but I divided the dough into two equal parts and pressed each part into an 8” round pan. I pricked all over with a fork and baked in a 275 degree F. oven for about an hour. As soon as they were removed from the oven, I cut them into 16 equal segments with a sharp knife. Then I let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them to cooling racks.


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