Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bites


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Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bites recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Flaky bites of shortbread that are barely crisp on the outside, then melt in your mouth with chocolate and just a hint of coffee flavor. Not so much coffee as to overpower each bite, but the right amount to bring out the flavor of the chocolate and the aroma of the espresso.

I’ve made a handful of desserts with espresso this past year, and I liked all of them. However, this is my favorite and it is the first one that even the non-coffee-lovers in my life enjoyed.

While this is not a traditional shortbread, it does have much of the same texture in the end. I prefer brown sugar over almost all other baking sugars and I can not resist using it here.

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The egg helps keep the bites a bit more moist than other versions and (especially with the gluten free flours) it helps hold them together beautifully.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bites recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Have you tried the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso from Starbucks? It is so good and as soon as I tasted it, I knew I needed to make it at home too! Brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon provide terrific depth of flavor for this awesome drink.

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bites

Servings: 24 -48 pieces, depending on size of pieces


  • ¾ cup butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder regular or decaf is fine
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet or milk

*Gluten-Free Alternative

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum


  • Combine the butter and the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat again. Stir together the dry ingredients and then add to the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for at least half an hour and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9×13 pan or a large baking sheet with parchment. Scoop the dough onto the parchment and then place another sheet of parchment on top. The dough will be very sticky, so you will need that second sheet on top to spread the dough across the pan with your hands. Spread it out thinly, less than 1/2″ thick, or approximately the thickness of the chocolate chips.
  • Remove the top sheet of parchment and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean with crumbs. Let the shortbread rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before using the parchment to carefully lift it out of the pan. Let it cool on the counter or on a cooling rack for another 10 minutes before slicing it into bite size pieces. Do not let it cool for too long if you want it to cut smoothly. I used a pizza cutter to slice it cleanly into 1″ pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container for soft bites of shortbread and in a not quite airtight container if you prefer the shortbread to be more crisp. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Monet says

    Shortbread is a perfect treat to have around the house during the winter months. Goes so well with a hot drink! Thank you for sharing another delightful post. What a bright and warm way to end my Tuesday! I hope you are having a blessed week.

  2. Julie Holmes says

    Hi. Can you help? When you use baking soda is it the gluton free kind? I live in the UK and can’t seem to find it. I bake for my friends GF son but she says baking soda isn’t GF. Thanks. Julie

    • Mary says

      I’ve never bought a baking powder that was labeled gluten free. However, there are several baking powders that are certified gluten free: Rumford Baking Powder – Non-Aluminum, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, Hain Pure Foods Featherweight Baking Powder – Made with Potato Starch – Sodium Free, Bakewell Cream Baking Powder with Cornstarch – Aluminum-Free, and Bob’s Red Mill Double Acting Baking Powder – No Added Aluminum. The reason for the distinction is because typically starches are added to baking powder. Occasionally, a random brand will use a wheat starch. So, it’s good to check.