Espresso Shortbread cookies

I’ve had my eye on an espresso shortbread cookie recipe for weeks now. I love shortbread cookies. There is something so addicting about the buttery, crumbly, crunchy cookie.

Sometimes shortbread cookie dough can be frustrating to work with since there are no eggs acting as a binding agent.

I had a lot of trouble getting this dough to come together. I think I may not have added enough butter because my dough was kind of crumbly. As a result, some of the dough fell apart and I wasn’t able to cut it into rectangles to make these cookies.

The ones that did come out though, tasted wonderful. Perfectly crispy on the outside and crumbles and melts in your mouth. The espresso taste gives a nice jolt and the mini chocolate chips add a sweet touch. I’ll have to be more careful next time I’m making this so that I can make sure I add enough butter.

Espresso Shortbread cookies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours.

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
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

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

2. Working with a stand mixer 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. Fold in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula.

3. Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag (I didn’t have one that big so I used four smaller ones). 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.

6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.

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