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One of the biscuits I often bake at Christmas is shortbread, and one of our favourite varieties is matcha (green tea).  Last Christmas I planned to make these again, but could only find matcha at ridiculous prices (like $25 for a couple of Tbs) so decided, instead of making $25 a batch matcha shortbread, to make coffee shortbread instead.

Surprisingly, they were one of the most popular types I made – and I’m sure I’m not the only cook who has varied a recipe on the run only to have everyone say it’s the best version ever, but you can’t remember what you did!  

Thankfully I did jot down the essentials, and given remembering stuff for you is what blogs are for 🙂 I’m belatedly posting the recipe now, to make sure I remember how I made them, and so you (and any keen Christmas biscuit recipients) can make them too.

Coffee almond shortbread

Inspired by this recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 90g plain flour
  • 40g almond meal
  • 2 Tbs instant coffee powder or granules (or 1 Tbs matcha for the original flavour)
  • 2 Tbs pearl sugar

Cream butter and icing sugar, beat in egg yolk, and then stir in flour, almond meal and coffee powder.  Don’t worry if you have a bit of undissolved coffee through the dough, it doesn’t affect the biscuits and looks quite decorative once sliced.  Scrape the dough onto a piece of baking paper, and use the paper to form into a roll about 4cm thick.  Twist the ends of the paper and put in the fridge to chill.

After about 30 min, unroll paper and roll dough back and forth a few times to smooth any ‘creases’ before re-rolling tightly and chilling for another hour (or 30 min in freezer).  If you want square biscuits, then use a small chopping board or heavy baking dish to press down on the roll to flatten the sides before chilling again.

Once chilled, roll or press each side of the dough in the sugar.  Slice about 1cm thick and place slices on a baking paper lined tray.  You can place fairly close together as shortbread doesn’t rise much.  Bake at 180C (350F) for about 12 minutes or until just turning golden at the edges.  Cool on a rack.  They’ll last at least a couple of weeks in a tin.