Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread

In recent years, I’ve found that while I do not like drinking coffee, I quite like having a pinch of coffee in my desserts. I often add a tablespoon or so or coffee in my brownies – I find that it adds an extra dimension somewhat. Mmmm. =)

I don’t really add coffee to my favourite chocolate chip cookies though. But when I came across this recipe at the Use Real Butter blog, the gorgeous pictures stayed in my mind… until I finally made them a couple of days ago. So… here we go!

What you need:

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
227g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, or 115 g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Icing sugar for dusting, optional
What you do:
  1. Dissolve espresso powder in boiling water. Set aside to cool to tepid.
  2. Beat butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
  3. Beat in vanilla and espresso, then reduce mixer speed to low and add flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated.
  4. Fold in the chopped chocolate or chips with a wooden spoon.
  5. Transfer the dough to a gallon-size zip-loc bag. Put bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and use a rolling pin to spread the dough in the bag, until you get a square of about 1/4-inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases.
  6. 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.
  7. Preheat the oven to 165°C. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking. The shortbreads will be very pale – they shouldn’t take on much color.
  10. Transfer the cookies to a rack. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

I had big hopes for this recipe. The comments seem to be very good. I even went out and bought a can of instant espresso powder, even though I had no idea how I will be able to finish up the whole thing. In the end though, I thought it would be worth it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Not sure whether it was because I did something wrong (doubt it… the recipe is super simple), or whether the recipe was not to my taste, but I found that the cookie was rather dry and a bit bland. I think it could do with more sugar and maybe with a pinch of salt even… I like my salt. 😉

Reviews from the family were also less than enthusiaistic. Most complained of a “dry and dusty” texture, although, predictably, Ibu quite liked it. 😛 Probably because it wasn’t too sweet, unlike our usual cookies. Onthe other hand, I quite liked the cofee flavour. Wasn’t very strong, but you could taste it. These would probably go well with a glass of cold milk, mmmmmm. Might try that tomorrow!

Other than that, I liked the way the cookies were shaped. Just roll everything in a plastic bag and cut into squares. Very easy. Ibu thought they were a bit too big, though I think it would have been quite hard to cut them into smaller pieces – as the dough softens very quickly in Brunei’s hot climate. 😉

Ah well… all in all, this recipe was rather disappointing. Not quite sure what went wrong, but I have a whole can of espresso powder to finish, so maybe I’ll try them again…

Yes, very short post. Been quite busy. =) See you next time!

Quote of the day: Remember, even if you don’t love coffee, coffee loves you.

One thought on “Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread

  1. if you don’t love chocolate, please remember that chocolate will always love you..hehe..

    looks so yummy..wish i cud have a bite..

    happy new year 2012!

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