Free Coffee for the Front Line and a Mocha-Shortbread-Cookie Recipe for All

While they live the curbside-pickup life along with so many restaurants and coffee shops around the country, the Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint team, in Cedar Grove, NJ, is doing its part to show appreciation to healthcare workers and first responders. Read on to find out what they’re doing on that front, how they’re delivering live music on the regular, and how to make head barista Casey Wehr’s mocha shortbread cookies.

Thank You, Frontline Workers

Over the past few weeks, Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint has donated coffee to area hospitals. They are also offering on-the-house, curbside coffee to EMTs and other frontline workers in the area. Frontline workers can get a free box of coffee for their teams by calling between 9 and 10 a.m. and picking up. (Regular orders for coffee-based drinks, tea, beans, and baked goods can be placed using the My Coffee Helper app.)

Live Music, from a Distance

As part of its pivot into serving a sheltered-in-place public, Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint also continues entertaining customers and fans through its increasingly popular Very Virtual Caffeinated Open Mic, every Thursday at 7 p.m. via Facebook Live. With surprise guests and an engaged local following, the weekly happening reached 2,000 views last week. The most recent installment even incorporated performers from Portland, OR, and Australia into its usually very Jersey-centric roster.

A Delicious, Caffeinated Treat

Most of us are home cooking more than we’ve ever cooked before. With that in mind, head barista Casey Wehr has shared her recipe for mocha shortbread cookies. These caffeinated treats feature finely ground coffee, chocolate, and a few baking staples you probably have at home. Check out the two-minute video for the full scoop on how to do it. (Recipe is listed below the video as well.)

Mocha Shortbread Cookies

mocha shortbread cookie recipe

Requires three cookie sheets or similar baking pans. (Or you can do one sheet at a time.)Makes 18 cookies.

Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup espresso grinds (finely ground coffee)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Splash of vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 cup finely chopped chocolate (such as 2 standard-size Hershey's bars)


    1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
    2. Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, espresso grinds).
    3. Gradually combine dry ingredients with the softened butter. (Use a mixer if you have one. If not, thoroughly hand mixing is fine.)
    4. Add a splash of vanilla.
    5. Add finely chopped chocolate.
    6. Grease baking trays.
    7. Roll dough into small balls, with ample space between them. Partially flatten each ball with a fork.
    8. Bake for 30 minutes. Check on them in the final 10 minutes as ovens may cook differently.
    9. Enjoy with a cup of coffee, cocoa, or milk!
On April 12, the Easter Bunny took a four-hour joyride with Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint and waved to kids on just about every street in Cedar Grove.

Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint
575 Pompton Avenue
Cedar Grove, NJ

Bunny photo by Joe Mongiello. All others courtesy of Cedar Bean’s Photo Joint.