An espresso cookie alongside your morning coffee is a major treat for caffeine lovers. Espresso shortbread is a melt-in-your-mouth cookie made with cornstarch to give a smooth, buttery, melty texture. A coffee-scented shortbread pairs beautifully with chocolate for a fabulous mocha sensation.
The best coffee-flavored cookie of all time are these Easy Classic Espresso Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies, made with whole Hershey kisses! Everyone loves this recipe because of the tender, crisp shortbread base that tastes exactly like an espresso. Once you press some chocolate into the center, it transforms this shortbread into a fabulous thumbprint cookie!
Thumbprint cookies are typically made with a shortbread-inspired base. Shortbread cookies have good structural integrity, making them ideal for holding a sweet filling. Often, you will find thumbprint cookies filled with jam, preserves, or a sweet cheese filling. Since the cookie base is made with espresso powder, a chocolate filling creates the perfect contrast in this dessert.
To make espresso shortbread, you only need a handful of ingredients. Well-softened butter, espresso powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, flour, cornstarch, and salt are the core ingredients for this recipe. Cornstarch is a really important ingredient in the cookie’s final texture. This is what creates that melt-in-your-mouth sensation, so don’t skip it.
Once all of the dough ingredients are incorporated, kids or friends can get involved in making the cookies. It’s fun to measure out a half-tablespoon of dough before rolling the cookies into balls. Making these cookies is a great way to get your kids in the kitchen with you. You can treat it like a fun little art project, rolling and molding cookies into perfect spheres.
Once the cookies are baked and out of the oven, the recipe gets chocolatey. By using Hershey kisses, you get a perfect ratio of one-half cookie and one-half chocolate. The kids can also help you unwrap your chocolate kisses before pressing one into each warm cookie. The base and the chocolate will fuse as the cookie sits and cools down. If the kids are helping you press the chocolate, be sure they are careful around the hot cookie sheet!
Serve these cookies alongside your morning cup of coffee or for a late-night snack. They keep very well in an airtight container after they have completely cooled. The chocolate kiss in the center and the coffee flavor of the shortbread combined create a magical cookie recipe that is perfect for any occasion.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat your softened butter with the espresso powder and the confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy. Also, add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
Finally, add the flour, cornstarch, and salt to the creamed butter mixture. Mix until just combined, but do not overmix. Overmixing will result in tough cookies.
Lightly coat your hands in cornstarch to prevent sticking. Scoop ½ tablespoon-sized balls of dough and roll with your hands. Roll until you make uniform balls that are similar in size. Place each rolled cookie onto the prepared, lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake 20-22 minutes or until the bottoms of each cookie are golden brown. The top of the cookie should stay rounded and pale.
While the cookies are baking, unwrap each Hershey kiss so that they are ready to press into the cookies.
Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven. Immediately, press a Hershey kiss into the center of each cookie. Press gently yet firmly to embed the chocolate into the cookie. Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature before serving.