Mocha shortbread bars

These may not look real fancy but they are delicious. This recipe makes quite a few bars so I decided to freeze a batch. Whenever I felt like a little treat, I would take one out of the freezer. Worked out great.

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (finely ground instant coffee powder will do)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter (or spray with Pam) a 15 x 10 inch sheet pan.
In a small bowl, sift the confectioners sugar with the cocoa powder. Set aside.
In another bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch and salt together. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about one minute). Add the sugar and cocoa mixture and beat until fully incorporated (about 2 minutes). 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. 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. Cool completely before removing from pan.

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