Nine years ago, a recipe for her Mocha Shortbread was shared with me by Nancy Joy Evans in Mendocino CA. And for awhile now, I have been filled with a hankering to explore 'surprise fillings' in cookies. This recipe is the fruition of those inspirations! The mocha shortbreads are very chocolatey- containing as much cocoa as flour, and with the buzz of ground coffee beans and the kick of black pepper and cayenne.
Fillings are actually inside the shortbreads, not sandwiched in between individual cookies(remember- I wanted a Surprise inside- and a sandwiched filling would be giving it away!) I eventually explored these fillings: Gianduja, Peanut butter truffle, Amaretto truffle, Almond butter, Peanut butter, Green tea, and Candied orange. I realized the mocha shortbreads were so rich on their own that putting chocolate inside them was just too much, overkill. I settled on the last three as my favorite surprise filings. Then I worked out a way that one batch of shortbread could have three different fillings- for variety's sake! So now you can try one of each, all in the same batch. After all... we pass this way but once! —inspiredbyyou