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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
Photography: Sang An




  • 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


  1. Step 1

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

  2. Step 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. Step 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. Step 4

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

  5. Step 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.

Halloween 2004, Special Issue



Reviews (13)

  • 24 Oct, 2010

    Here's another link for tombstones.

  • 24 Oct, 2010

    Here's the link to the grave stones in completely different file. HTH

  • 18 Oct, 2010

    You can always buy a tombstone cookie cutter. I got one from Target last year.

  • 18 Oct, 2010

    How about drawing one yourself? It doesn't require an art degree, tombstone is a pretty simple shape...

  • 18 Oct, 2010

    I would rather make that cake with the chocolate icing dripping on top! Where is the recipe for that?

  • 18 Oct, 2010

    i can't find it either!

  • 16 Oct, 2009

    Cannot find the tombstone template. Searched everywhere ??

  • 31 Oct, 2008

    I made a paper cut out of a headstone. Worked out great. These cookies are "to die for"! They taste so good , I will be making them for the holidays in different shapes. One of the best shortbread cookies.

  • 31 Oct, 2008

    That template link has expired

  • 27 Oct, 2008

    I found all the templates in one file including

  • 27 Oct, 2008

    I have been looking and looking for the template for these cookies!! I can't find it anywhere!! I need to make this cake tonight!!! please help!!!!

  • 22 Oct, 2008

    yep... need a template!

  • 21 Oct, 2008

    Where's the template? I don't see a link for it on the page and I need to make this for a party.