Vegan Espresso Shortbread Cookies

I’ve gushed about how much Ovi and I love espresso on the blog before, and judging by the positive response, many of you love it too! Espresso and sweets were just meant to be together. The smoky roasted beans amplify the light sweetness, and the flaky, buttery shortbread cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Make them for your coffee loving (possibly vegan) valentine, and adoration will be yours

These were experimental, and made on a random late night whim. Hooray for midnight baking! Soy butter was used in the stead of traditional sweet cream butter, making these cookies vegan friendly. They’re not your typical crunchy shortbread. They’re flaky and crumbly and tender like the crust of my favorite pie.

Recipe adapted from: Joy of Baking

Whenever I bake, I measure my ingredients by weight (grams) for a consistent outcome. My little food scale is my best friend in the kitchen. I’ve provided the measurements in grams for cooks like me, who like to pretend they’re a mad scientist when baking. I’m totally adding beakers to my shopping list….tangent.


  • 2 cups or (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (5 grams)  finely ground espresso beans
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted soy butter, I used unsalted Earth Balance (room temperature) Or just use sweet cream butter if you’re not worried about dairy intake
      • Some vegan margarine products are not suitable for baking. Smart balance light, for example is not recommended for baked goods.
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract


  • In a bowl, combine flour, espresso, and salt
  • In a separate bowl, beat butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute
  • Add sugar bit by bit, beating til smooth, about 2 minutes
  • Gently stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. The dough will be crumbly, and just holding together.
      • If you’re having a hard time getting the dough to stick, add 1 teaspoon ice cold water at a time, and gently fold until dough holds together in pea sized bits
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and gently flatten into a disk
  • Wrap with plastic, and refrigerate at least one hour
      • You can shorten this by putting it in the freezer instead for 20 minutes. The goal is simply to get the butter to firm up again
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle of the oven
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle/rectangle.  
      • I like to do this between 2 sheets of plastic to help with cleanup!
  • Cut using a lightly floured cookie cutter (I used hearts for my valentine)
  • Place on the prepared baking sheets and chill again in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to help the dough keep it’s shape when cooking.
  •  Bake for 8 -10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Per Cookie:

With my small 1.5 inch cookie cutter, this recipe yielded 34 cookies.

Calories: 80 – Carbs: 7g – Fat: 5g – Protein: 1g – Fiber: 0g  – Sugar: 2g

We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day in the typical way, but I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post some heart shaped cookies. They’re so dang cute! Who needs a holiday to make heart shaped food anyway. Not me!

Ovi and I like to make a nice meal, and settle in for a movie night with a bottle of red wine and our 2 adorable puppies. Nothing fancy, but I look forward to it. It’s really the simple things that are the most memorable. Even if you’re like us and enjoy the cozy nights in, and simple pleasures – make sure to do a little special sumthin’ sumthin’ for your sweetie. Cheesy holiday or not, it’s a great reminder to show your special someone a little extra love, and let them know how awesome they are.

I had intended to turn these into sandwich cookies with chocolate cream in the middle, but Ovi ate them all before I got the chance. I made them for him after all, so who could blame him? I may have helped a little….maybe….definitely. If you can resist eating them before the filling is done (good luck) I have a feeling they would be great sandwich cookies.

Related Posts:

Espresso Infused Meringue Cookies


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