Melt in your mouth buttery shortbread, flavoured with freshly brewed espresso, sandwiched together with homemade butterscotch sauce and espresso buttercream. These delicate Viennese Whirls are full of flavour, quick and easy to make and taste absolutely divine. Once you try the flavours of coffee and butterscotch together, you’ll wonder where it has been all your life!
Coffee and butterscotch might seem like a somewhat odd combination when you first see it, but just think about it – the deep, richly bitter flavour of espresso combined with the rich, buttery, caramelly goodness of butterscotch? Starting to sound irresistable now? Trust me, it is! I first tried this combination in a milkshake from Ed’s Diners (it’s an American themed diner here in the UK, they’re pretty good) and you can combine any flavours together and one day I went with coffee and butterscotch – and boy am I glad I did! You guys, it’s sooooo good! I KNEW I needed to bake that drool worthy combo together ASAP. I circled through a lot of ideas before finally landing on these amazing Espresso and Butterscotch Viennese Whirls!
Viennese Whirls are one of my all time favourite cookies, and a staple for British Tea Times across the Kingdom (doesn’t that make us sound fancy!)! I’ve made classic Viennese Whirls before which are always delicious, but I love to play with flavours and this Espresso and Butterscotch combo is absolutely perfect. The espresso flavour in the cookie itself is very subtle, you can still taste the wonderful buttery shortbread coming through. There’s a burst of coffee goodness from the buttercream which is so creamy, and pipes beautifully – the butter is whipped before adding the sugar to keep it light and fluffy. The butterscotch sauce is so full of flavour, it’s incredible – it’s (very slightly) adapted from The Flavor Bender’s amazing Brown Butter Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge Sauce, I have replaced the chocolate with espresso for that extra kick – you can never have too much coffee afterall (feel free to use decaf espresso if you CAN have too much coffee)!
One of the many, many things I love about these yummy Viennese Whirls is how easy they are to make, yet they looks so pretty and impressive. They’re great to have in your biscuit tin for snacking, but are elegant enough to serve at a fancy tea or to impress your guests with. The hardest part is piping the shortbread – it’s an extremely soft dough which allows you to pipe it into the traditional rosette shape, but it still takes a bit of muscle and elbow grease to pipe. I definitely recommend a piping bag that you properly fit a nozzle into, rather than just snipping the end off and popping the nozzle in – I do the latter because I don’t have a fitted nozzle, it’s perfectably doable but there is a danger of your nozzle popping out of the bag! This easy recipe is just a case of mixing the shortbread ingredients together and piping to make the cookies. For the buttercream all you have to do is whip the butter until it is pale and fluffy, and then whip in the sugar and espresso. The butterscotch sauce takes the longest, but it’s really easy to make – it’s just a matter of browning the butter and cooking together the rest of the ingredients. You’ll want to make this first, and brew the espresso, to give them time to cool.
Espresso and Butterscotch Viennese Whirls
Melt in your mouth buttery espresso shortbread, sandwiched with espresso buttercream and butterscotch sauce. Delicate, delicious and divine
For the espresso butterscotch sauce Adapted from The Flavor Bender :
- 115g unsalted butter
- 100g brown sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 120ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brewed espresso
For the shortbread:
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g icing sugar (powdered/confectioners)
- 260g plain flour (AP)
- 75g cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tbsp brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
- Pinch of salt
For the espresso buttercream:
- 120g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 300g icing sugar
- 2-3 tbsp brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
To make the butterscotch sauce:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan, keep cooking on a medium heat to brown it. This takes about 5-8 minutes, and it's ready when there are lots of brown/black flecks in the butter (if using a dark coloured pan, you can tets it on a piece of kitchen towel) and it has a strong, nutty aroma.
- Add the sugar, syrup and salt and stir to combine.
- Lower the heat to medium low and add the cream (carefully, it may splutter). Keep it on the heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble gently for 5 minutes, stirring.
- Stir in the espresso.
- Pour into a jar and leave to cool completely. Store in the fridge.
To make the shortbread:
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, beat them together with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth dough. It will be very soft.
- Spoon the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe a little dough under the corners of the parchment paper to stick it to the tray - this will make piping a lot easier. Pipe rosettes about 1.5"-2" wide, they may spread a little but you can space them pretty close together. It's kind of tough going to pipe them, but you'll get there - don't worry about getting perfect rosettes either, the imperfect ones add a lot of charm!
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a light golden brown. They will still be quite soft, but will harden as they cool. They are very delicate when hot, so cool them on the tray placed on a wire rack.
To make the buttercream:
- Put the butter in the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use an electric hand mixer) and beat the butter on high until it is very pale - about 3-5 minutes.
- Turn the mixer down to the lowest setting and add the sugar, beat on low until combined and then turn up to medium-high and beat for a few minutes, until fluffy. Add 2 tbsp of cooled espresso and beat to combine, add the remaining espresso if desired and if your buttercream isn't too thin yet. I used 3 tbsp, which made for a thinner buttercream but still perfectly pipeable - just use your judgement.
To assemble the cookies:
- Spoon your buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
- Drizzle about 1-2tsps of cooled butterscotch sauce onto the flat side of half the cookies. Pipe a rosette of buttercream on top of this.
- Put the other half of the cookies on top of this, flat side to the buttercream, and sandwich together.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Store any left over butterscotch sauce in a jar in the fridge - it's great for coffee, pancakes, ice cream, anything!
There we have it folks! Deceivingly easy cookies that are as delicious as they are pretty. I honestly could not get enough of these incredible, delicate little cookies – for such a dainty thing they sure do pack a lot of flavour! They’ll make you insanely popular too, you family, friends and colleagues will be begging for more – mine were! I took them to the office and they disappeared in record time! Can you blame them? With all that delicious fresh coffee flavour, with gooey butterscotch sauce oozing out the sides – it’s hard to stop at just one! And if that’s not enough sauciness for you, you can always dip it in some more…
Messy, but oh so good! You’ve really got to try these ones, you won’t be sorry – guaranteed deliciousness right here, or your money back! Give them a go and let me know what you think in the comments. Don’t forget to share if you liked this recipe too.
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