Kona Coffee Shortbread

January 6: National Shortbread Day

Shortbread is of Scottish origin but the cookie is very popular in Hawaii as fundraising items, souvenirs and local snacks. Some Scots settled in the islands in the 18th century and have left their culinary and cultural impact. In fact, Hawaii’s last princess, Ka’iulani, was half Scottish on her father’s side (her Anglo name is Princess Victoria Cleghorn).

Several companies in Hawaii produce shortbread in a variety of traditional and tropical flavors and shapes. Kauai Kookie (the factory is a mandatory stop when we visit the island) and Maui CookKwees make round, stacked discs. Honolulu Cookie Company has its signature miniature pineapple shapes. There are other companies that do drop/scoop/mound shapes as well. We tried to copy Big Island Candies and the Cookie Corner with their simple rectangular-shaped flavored cookies dipped diagonally in chocolate.

This Kona coffee shortbread recipe fits in with our Highlander and Islander (HI) Cookery blog (a Scot married a local girl) and is appropriate for observing National Shortbread Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Panera Bread)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar, granulated white
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant Kona coffee (or regular coffee), ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 ounces chocolate, melted

Directions

Cream the butter with the sugars. Finely grind the coffee granules to a powder then add to the butter mixture. Mix in the salt.

Gradually add the flour. Mix until a sticky but smooth dough comes together. Refrigerate for half and hour. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness between sheets of waxed paper. Refrigerate again to firm up the dough. Slice into rectangles (around 2 ½ by 1 1 ½ inches).

Place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet about two inches apart to allow for a little spreading. Refrigerate or freeze the baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for about five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate in a bowl according to the package directions. Use a spatula to spread chocolate diagonally across the cookie, dipping the bottom and sides as necessary. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue dipping the rest of the cookies in chocolate. Refrigerate to firm up the chocolate. Serve at room temperature. When storing the cookies, place between sheets of small waxed paper to prevent the chocolate from sticking to other cookies.

Notes

  • We halved the recipe to share with another couple friend (also expatriates from Hawaii) when they visited us in Texas. The cookie dough is soft and needs to be kept cold when handling and rolling out. To minimize spreading, we freeze the cut cookies before placing them in the oven. Feel free to add finely chopped macadamia nuts in the recipe.
  • Learn more about Princess Ka’iulani from the Kaiulani Project website. 
  • Read highlights about the Scots in Hawaii from Coffee Times
  • Islander has attended the Hawaiian Scottish Festival and Highland Games to support Highlander’s clan. 
  • See a similar recipe for coffee and nut cookies on National Coffee Day on September 29. 
  • Search our blog for more shortbread recipes.

 

Coffee and Nut Cookies

 Coffee and Nut Cookies

September 29: National Coffee Day

We have visited coffee plantations and estates while in Kona (Big Island of Hawaii), Kualapuu (Molokai), Kalaheo (Kauai) and Waialua (Oahu, Islander’s home island). We even got to sample some of the peaberries (bitter yet aromatic) grown on the property of some of the Hawaiian coffee companies. We buy their products and take them back to the mainland so Highlander can enjoy a cuppa joe (or, in Hawaiian, kope), and Islander can bake coffee-flavored desserts, such as coffee and nut cookies.

Hawaiian Coffee - HI Cookery

Inspired by Kauai Kookie’s Kona coffee macadamia nut shortbread cookies, Islander used Hawaiian ingredients in a simple coffee cookie recipe to give it a tropical twist. Coffee lovers will definitely appreciate these flavorful treats. So celebrate National Coffee Day and bake a batch of coffee and nut cookies with a little aloha!

Recipe

(Adapted from Ferra Coffee

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup sugar (we used C&H brand), granulated white
  • 2 tablespoons roasted ground coffee (we used Hawaiian Kona coffee)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand) 
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (we used Mauna Loa macadamia nut pieces)

Directions

In a large bowl, cream the shortening with the sugar. Mix in the ground coffee. Beat in the egg. Add the flour.

Coffee and Nut Cookies

Mix in the vanilla and nuts. Blend well until cookie dough forms. Use a small scoop to drop the dough at least two inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to a crisp on wire racks. Yield: Approximately 1 ½ dozen coffee cookies. 

Coffee and Nut Cookies

Notes

  • These cookies spread while baking and are soft when they come out of the oven. When cool, the edges become crisp while the center is somewhat chewy.
  • Search our blog for recipes containing coffee as an ingredient. Also peruse for more posts on other cookie recipes.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Cappuccino Cupcakes

November 8: National Cappuccino Day

On our Italian vacation, we began each day with a breakfast of brioches and biscottis. Highlander would also have his morning coffee as the caffeine would give him a boost of energy as we prepared to go sightseeing all over Rome, Florence and Venice. Instead of his usual “tall, no-whip mocha” that he orders in American coffee shops, Highlander would drink a cappuccino from the Italian cafés.

In Europe, traditionally cappuccino is consumed in the mornings (but now it is starting to get popular to drink it during the day). Cappuccino is made with steamed espresso and hot milk and has a foamy top texture. Some baristas even make artistic designs on top of the foam.

Instead of making the beverage, we baked cappuccino cupcakes. We created them to look like mugs and flavored them with Hawaiian ingredients (Kona coffee).  They are a cute coffee confection to commemorate National Cappuccino Day.

Recipe

For the cupcakes

(Adapted from 125 Best Cupcakes Cookbook by Julie Hasson)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground coffee (we used Kona coffee)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (we used Mulvadi brand) mixed with 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips (we used Nestle brand mini morsels)

Directions

In a bowl, mix the flour, ground coffee, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg with the sugar and oil. Mix in the vanilla.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Stir in the coffee mixture. Gradually pour in the flour mixture and alternate with the sour cream. Mix until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Scoop into brown cupcake liners, Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Yield: A baker’s dozen.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

For the chocolate glaze

(Adapted from Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn)

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate squares (we used Baker’s brand) or chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Directions

In a bowl, combine the chocolate, butter and corn syrup. Microwave for a minute until all ingredients are melted. Stir until smooth and well blended. Dip the top of a cupcake in the glaze, twisting and tapping off the excess. Let set.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

For the cappuccino mug decorations

  • Chocolate frosting, cold
  • Chocolate-covered circle mini pretzels (we used Nabisco brand)
  • Whipped cream or Cool Whip
  • Chocolate-covered coffee bean (we used Island Princess brand)

Directions

Spread a little cold chocolate frosting on the side of a cappuccino cupcake liner. Attach a circle pretzel. Continue assembling the other cupcakes. Refrigerate to set the “mug handles” in place.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Pipe a little whipped cream or Cool Whip on top of the glazed cupcake. Top with a chocolate-covered coffee bean.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Notes