Saturday, September 25, 2010

Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Well of all the home bakers who publish, Dorie Greenspan has to be a favorite. Among the bloggers, you will find the Tuesdays with Dorie group who are baking through her book called "Baking from my home to yours".

Every Tuesday the group bakes from a picked recipe from this book (some putting a twist on the recipe) and blogs about the results.  I am not sure if Dorie's was the first but now there are several baking blogger groups.

Regarding these particular cookies, they pack a lot of flavor in a shortbread texture.  Most people think of shortbread as a plain butter cookie, but with mini chocolate chips and espresso these are far from plain.  Once tasted, you will understand why Dorie has such a following.

Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours 

2 sticks of butter (room temp)
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs of boiling water
1 tbs espresso powder
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar (optional for dusting)

Preheating your oven and preparing your pans will come later.  This cookie dough will need to be refrigerated, so there is no need for those preparations in the beginning.  This recipe yields about 32 cookies.

First, the espresso will need to be mixed in with the boiling water until it is all dissolved.  Then set aside to cool to room temperature.

In another large bowl, the sugar and butter will need to be mixed together at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  This should take about 3 minutes.  Then add the vanilla and espresso mixture, beating after each addition.

After that, take a wooden spoon and mix the flour into the butter mixture, just until incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

Now, here comes a super technique.  Take all of the dough and put it into a gallon zipper bag.  Do not seal the bag.  Take a rolling pin and roll over the plastic bag until the dough is a 9X10 1/2 inch  rectangle.  You may have to lift the bag from the dough a few times when you roll to eliminate any creases that occur on the top and bottom side of the bag.  When you have finished rolling, press all the air out of the bag and seal.  Then put in fridge for at least 2 hours.  Should you want fresh cookies without all the mixing time, you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 2 days prior to baking.

During the dough cooling process, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

When the dough is ready, you take it out of the fridge and slit down each side of plastic bag and fold it back.  This will uncover all your dough for cutting.  You can take all the dough out for cutting also.Using a ruler to guide you, cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares.

Transfer each piece to a cookie sheet.  These will not spread hardly at all so they do not have to be spaced very far apart.  Take a fork and prick each of the cookie dough pieces twice, pressing all the way to the bottom.  This will insure that the cookies will not bubble up when baking.

Bake in oven 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets at the halfway point.  These cookies should remain the same color as the dough, very little browning is required. When baking has completed, take out sheet and transfer cookies to a rack to cool.  Should you want to dust with confectioners' sugar-do so while cookies are still hot.  However, if you intend to freeze the baked cookies, it is best not to dust with sugar.

Place these cookies beside a just brewed pot of coffee and watch them disappear as fast as free tickets to the super bowl!