Baking for Beginners: Stress-free shortbread cookies


Turkish coffee shortbread cookies. Photo by Cierra Noffke

Cierra Noffke, Culture Editor

Shortbread cookies are, if you don’t know, mostly butter and always the cookie to go for if a Girl Scout pops up at your front door. This recipe, a variation on shortbread cookies, is for Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies and takes in entirety about 20 minutes to make (10 min to prep, 10 min to bake). You don’t need anything more complicated than a little ground coffee (espresso or french roast work the best here) and a little cardamom (if you hate cardamom you can scrap it from the recipe), a rolling pin and an oven to make them, and you could even substitute one of those items for a can of Pringles or something (that’s actually a bad idea, please don’t use a Pringles can to roll the shortbread dough). 

That said, these cookies are simple and sweet and a good way to take a break in the midst of a stressful week. Take care of yourself. You deserve a break whisking eggs and rolling dough in the kitchen and you deserve chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies. 



  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (pop a stick in the oven for about 30 seconds) 
  • ⅔ cup sugar 
  • ¼ tsp. salt 
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsp. finely ground coffee
  • ½ tbsp ground cardamom

Chocolate coating (optional, but highly recommended) 

  • Approx. 8 ox bittersweet chocolate 
  • 1 tsp. vegetable or coconut oil



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a bowl or a stand mixer, mix the sugar, butter and salt until combined (though the mixture won’t be smooth and that’s okay)
  3. Add the flour, cardamom and ground coffee until the dough just begins to form.
  4. Use your hands to pull the dough together. Set it on a floured sheet of parchment paper. Roll the dough about ¼ inch thick and use the parchment paper to roll it into a log. 
  5. Stick the dough in the freezer for about five minutes. Because shortbread cookies are mostly butter, chilling the dough makes it easier to work with.
  6. Take out the dough and use a knife to cut 1 inch (or thicker! It’s all up to you!) slabs of dough. 
  7. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the golden brown edges. 
  8. Make the chocolate coating by combining the chocolate and vegetable oil in a small microwavable dish and microwaving for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture and microwave for another 30 seconds. Continue stirring until it’s melted.
  9. Let the cookies cool before you try to remove them from the baking sheet. Once cooled enough to be picked up (and eaten), dip them into the chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip into the bowl. Place cookie on parchment paper so the chocolate will harden.
  10. Brew a cup of coffee and enjoy.