Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze

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…

Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze

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.

Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze

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.

Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze

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.

Print Recipe

Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze


  • 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


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Would be delicious served with small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

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

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Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze

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.

These Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Irish Whiskey Glaze are a treat! So easy to make and if you are a coffee lover you will love them!