I developed this recipe several years ago to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. The delightful espresso offers a jolly jolt for his last-minute toy assembly!—Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white baking chips
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- Additional confectioners' sugar
- In a small bowl, dissolve espresso powder in hot water. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and dissolved espresso mixture. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in baking chips and cherries.
- On a sheet of plastic wrap, pat dough into a 10-in. square; wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 325°. Unwrap dough; cut into 2-in. squares. Place 1 in. apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Prick holes in each cookie with a fork. Bake 20-25 minutes or until set.
- Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Dust lightly with additional confectioners' sugar. Store in airtight containers. Yield: 25 cookies.
Originally published as Espresso Shortbread Squares in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2014
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