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Sure, most shortbread seems the same on the surface. But break one of these babies apart and you'll see glassy hunks of burnt sugar, and a speckling that comes from finely ground espresso. To further the freshly-roasted flavor, this recipe from Ovenly calls for two tablespoons of cold-brew coffee as well.
Tips: The "burnt sugar bits" called for in this shortbread might be a bit of a misnomer; you're not actually supposed to burn the melted sugar in the saucepan, just simmer until it's a dark golden-brown. However, calling it "brown sugar" would be even more confusing. Basically, you're making a caramel, pouring it over a baking sheet, and breaking it up once it cools. It's easiest to shatter with a hammer, but if you're not comfortable using one in the kitchen, a pestle or knife both work well.
Tweaks: If you're wondering what Stumptown has to do with shortbread, it's the brand of coffee Agatha and Erin choose to use in this recipe. Of course, any brand of finely ground espresso works for the dough, and add brewed coffee (or espresso) of your choice to the wet ingredients. If the ground espresso you decide to use is at all grainy, give it a pulse or two before using. Shortbread is definitely crumbly by nature, but that should come from the dough, and not coffee granules.
As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Ovenly to give away.
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