Espresso shortbread tart with dark chocolate glaze

Espresso shortbread tart Coffee in a shortbread cookie – hello! A marriage meant to last. Or dessert for any time.

This simple, elegant dessert is great for the finale of a romantic dinner, or a great hostess gift if you’re going to a dinner party.

This recipe is a riff on my holiday cookie classic, Rosemary Shortbread Cookies. The basic ingredients are the same, with the addition of ground espresso, pressed into a round tart tin. Pour over a chocolate glaze and you’re set – the shortening helps stabilize the glaze.

It couldn’t be easier . . . or more impressive if I say so myself.

So make these for yourself or a beloved. And enjoy with a demitasse of espresso or a tall glass of milk.

Espresso shortbread tart with dark chocolate glaze

Serves eight

For the cookie base

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons finely ground espresso, or your favorite finely-ground coffee

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

 For glaze

6 ounces dark chocolate chips (1/2 package)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in center of the oven. Use a wooden spoon to stir together the butter, sugar, coffee and salt until smooth. Mix in half of the flour until well combined, then add the remaining flour and stir, again until well combined. The dough may become stiff, so patiently stir in the flour until it is completely incorporated.

Press the mixture evenly into a buttered 8-inch round metal pan with a removable bottom, using damp fingers if necessary, edging the dough up the rim to form an edge to hold the glaze. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 30 – 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

To make the glaze, heat a saucepan with a couple inches of water to a boil. Pour the chocolate chips into a glass mixing bowl, add the shortening. Set on top of the saucepan but don’t let the bowl come in contact with the water. (This used to be called a double boiler.) Turn off the heat and let set for a few minutes until the chocolate melts. Using a rubber scraper, mix the chocolate with the shortening until smooth. Pour over the cookie art and coax toward the edges. Let cool completely.

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