Friday, April 23, 2010

Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Last Thursday night I attended a family friends wedding shower. I left my husband home with the boys so they could have boy time with daddy and also b/c wedding showers are no place for 4 year old rambunctious boys or 14 month old babies who like to go to bed by 7:30. So you get the idea as to why I didn't take them....It was a lovely evening spent talking to women I hadn't seen in a while and eating chicken pot pie, salad, rolls, cake, punch, and fruit salad. When I returned home I was not surprised to find my husband counting down the minutes to when these little bad boys would be done. 
So I was surprised and wondered why he wasn't doing his normal evening reading or completely worn out from the busy night of feeding, bathing, and putting the kids to bed alone.
I actually thought it was really sweet that he would put the kids to bed then high tale it in fast gear to make these from scratch and get it done by the time I got home. Although it was late we both decided we would have one, plus--how could I have said-- No--certainly not after all that hard work.
We also shared some with some work friends and family. By Saturday they were gone and everyone wanted more...
They also get better with age–and really, who doesn’t want that?

My sweet husband also took the time to document the process...Since he knew how much I like to include pictures with recipes. He even said, "You can blog about this."  Well little did he know that I would!

Makes 32-38 cookies
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (plain, or a toffee variety), finely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water, and set aside to cool to tepid.
2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla and espresso, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula.
3. Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
4. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
5. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.
6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.
7. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

*Recipe originally from Dorie Greenspan but revised my Smitten Kitchen in 2007 and now by Mommy Buzz in 2010. 


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