Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Espresso-Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Christmas is coming...really, it's almost here.

We haven't yet begun decorating or planning but here is one thing I am doing.

I am am making these cookies.

Here's the deal, you can make the batter, seal it in a ziplock bag (all rolled out and ready), freeze it and then cut off as many lovely little squares as you need to bake.

I have a serious weakness for shortbread.

I grew up eating my Dad's shortbread. His recipe originally came from a Scottish lady that used to live next door.

Perfect rounds of his shortbread was and is always in little tins around my Mum and Dad's house at Christmas time.

This recipe is rich and espresso-y with the occasional melt of chocolate.

They're perfect! They get RAVE reviews!

And since this bag is going in the freezer to be baked at a later date, you'll have to stay posted to see it finished product...or jump over to Smitten Kitchen to see how they turn out.

Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

(Discovered at

Makes 42 cookies

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 tablespoon boiling water

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water, and set aside to cool.

2. Working with a stand mixer, 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.