Espresso Shortbread Headstones

These cookies can be baked one day ahead. Store them in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature.

  • Yield: Makes 1 dozen
Espresso Shortbread Headstones

Photography: Sang An

Source: Halloween 2004, Special Issue

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, (sifted, then measured)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. Whisk together flour, salt, and espresso in a large bowl; set aside.

  2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour mixture. Transfer dough to plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk; wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Photocopy the template on this page, and cut it out. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using template and a paring knife, cut dough into 12 headstones. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

  4. Bake cookies until set but not browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

  5. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Let stand until cool but not stiff. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip, such as an Ateco #2, or to a parchment-paper cone. Pipe desired design on cookies.

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