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Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze

by Aggies Kitchen on March 17, 2011

Yesterday afternoon I was working around the house when the front page of the Food section of my paper totally caught my eye. I saw a headline “Luck of the Irish Coffee” with a photo of a familiar fluted mug filled with dark brown coffee and a creamy whipped topping. Yum. Even better was the photo to the right of it…

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This wasn’t the exact photo obviously, but it was of this recipe for a simple shortbread cookie that morphs the flavors of coffee and whiskey…and lots of butter.

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I never realized making shortbread was so easy. I am one who usually is in awe of beautiful desserts featured in magazines and blogs, but that’s pretty much as far as it goes. Awe. I don’t bake. I mean, I bake, but it’s a huge effort for me because I really really don’t like working with flour, and measuring, and tons of butter and sugar. It’s just not my thing. But yesterday, while making this unbelievably simple recipe that included only a few ingredients (butter, sugar, flour, coffee, more butter, Irish whiskey) I couldn’t help but think maybe I actually do like to bake, I just have to change my attitude about it. I baked these up in no time, and it actually brought me a little joy too. I’m starting to get it. I cut them up, packaged them up and sent them off with my husband to work this morning. We sampled a couple of cookies last night (these are grown up cookies I should tell you..unless you want your children to sleep really really well, kidding kidding) and they were so good…crumbly, buttery and with a distinct flavor of coffee and subtle taste of whiskey.

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So if you have a few minutes to spare and need a quick dessert to share with friends, try these out.

Happy baking and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze

Recipe from Orlando Sentinel, adapted from a recipe by cooking teacher Janine MacLachlan

2 sticks unsalted Irish butter, room temperature (I used non-Irish Land O Lakes, its all I had)
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon course salt
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground espresso or coffee

Glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Irish whiskey (I used Jameson, if you don’t want to buy a big bottle, look for a nip at your liquor store)
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Stir together butter, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Mix in about half the flour; stir in the ground coffee. Stir in remaining flour; combine thoroughly. Using damp fingers, press into two buttered 8 inch round cake pans.

Bake in center of the oven until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Immediately cut each pan into 8 wedges but leave in pan. Cool completely.

For glaze, pour sugar and half of whiskey into a small saucepan. Heat to a boil over high heat; boil rapidly 1 minute. Remove from heat, whisk in butter. Whisk in remaining whiskey. Let set to thicken slightly, about 1 minute. Spoon over shortbread, using the back of your spoon to cover evenly. When glaze is set, carefully remove cookies from pan.

Would be delicious served with small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

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PS…I added a Fitness tab to my menu bar above. In addition to food, I have a passion for keeping fit and feeling good. I really try to do some form of exercise everyday, not only to keep my weight in check but really because it helps keep my whole world in check. Happy Mom Happy Life, right?

I am a huge follower of many healthy living blogs (Carrots ‘N Cake, Kath Eats Real Food, Healthy Tipping Point, Healthy Ashley & Meals and Miles) and over the last few years reading these blogs and keeping up with how active these girls are has really motivated me. I’m spending a lot of time running these days so here I will share with you running programs I’m using, as well as races I’m participating in or have done in the past. I also love to swim and practice yoga so I plan to update include links on them as well…the page is still a work in progress and if there is something you’d like to see on there, please send me a note!

I am no expert, but just like the rest of this blog, my goal is to inspire.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica March 17, 2011 at 10:53 am

mmmm what a combo of flavors! Our local paper puts out recipes every week and some of them look super tasty- I need to give them a go. The end result looks perfect for St. Pattys day!

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Marla March 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

Oh girl I can see why this shortbread caught your eye! I bet they taste amazing. Happy St. Pattie’s Day :)

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muppy March 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm

They sounds really good, i love coffee!!! glad to hear i’m not the only one who sends all my baked goodies to work with my husband ;)

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 18, 2011 at 4:03 am

I love the simple buttery goodness of shortbread, and a like extra something for the adults on top sounds nice too!

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Lauren from Lauren's Latest March 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

What a great mix of flavors! These look so yummy!

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Jamie March 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

What a unique shortbread cookie. You need to give your baking skills some credit Aggie. Baking is fun and fun to eat! In moderation of course. I’ll be checking out your fitness tab….you know how much I LOVE to exercise…ha ha!

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Tickled Red March 19, 2011 at 7:50 am

Oh my word! I need about 3 dozen of those purty please :)

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Elena March 20, 2011 at 5:44 am

Sugar and Irish whiskey glaze and a coffee tase sounds like Heaven. My mom will prepare the recipe cause I am with her now in my old house and my mom has time to cook.

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Megan March 20, 2011 at 11:18 am

What a great spin to the traditional shortbread. And I need all the inspiration I can get in the exercise department, so thank you! :)

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natalie (the sweets life) March 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

oh my, definitely need to try these! Can I use instant coffee powder do you thin?

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Maris (In Good Taste) March 23, 2011 at 6:56 am

Oh these look so perfect! Holiday over or not I am making these!

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lisa March 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Oh those look amazing! :-D Glad I came across your blog! And your recipe page looks pretty awesome too!

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michelle@the domestic mama and the viillage cook March 25, 2011 at 6:31 am

Oooo, girlfriend. Right up my alley. These look delish! I love adult desserts. :) Looking forward to meeting you in just a few weeks! Woo-hoo!

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Robyn | Add a Pinch March 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Oh my word, Aggie! These look amazing!!!

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valerie April 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm

WOW, these look and sound amazing.

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