Another Tuesday, another baked good from Dorie Greenspan. I probably would not have made these cookies on my own. I’m glad that I did because they are delectable. Light and airy, but with intense chocolate and espresso flavors. I made them over the weekend and brought them to a dinner on Sunday. Everyone gobbled them up, even those dubious of coffee-flavored desserts. Dorie actually has a new French cookbook, Around my French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours, out in the stores. I want it. I want it bad. Too bad that I won’t be having much time to cook. Or at least that is what I’m predicting. I started back to school yesterday. I’m going to try to chip away part-time (while working full-time) on my teacher certification for grades 7-12, focusing on Language Arts. I’ve been thinking about going back for years and decided to finally do it. I had Social, Historical, & Philosophical Foundations of Education over my lunch hour followed by a three hour Special Education seminar after work. It was a loooong day. I was a ball of mixed emotions, ranging from excitement (met many cool people, the professors seem wonderful and the learning environment is very nurturing) to straight up fear. I won’t lie, I’m kind of freaking out about finding time for my beloved hobbies. During my lunch time class, the professor made us introduce ourselves and answer the question, “What are you passionate about?” Uh, discovering the perfect pie crust, the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, learning more about photography, finally making something more than a bowl in pottery class, knitting a sweater, perfecting my flip turns, etc. I like creating things with my hands that have finished products. I like being active. I love my hobbies. Is that selfish? Maybe I like them so much because they are my hobbies and not my career? I think once I get into a groove, I’ll feel much better. The good news is that one professor is a stickler for grammar. (The syllabus had five pages dedicated to proper grammar, most of which I violate on a daily basis.) I am hoping the grammar rules that have evaporated from my brain cells over the past ten years will come back. After the whirlwind day, the real highlight was coming home to the TWO leftover espresso chocolate shortbread cookies. Make them. Soon.
The recipe starts out with instant espresso powder. I splurged and bought the good stuff.
Add one tablespoon espresso to a small dish.
Combine with one tablespoon boiling water. Let sit one minute.
Add butter and powdered sugar to a medium size mixing bowl. Beat until smooth and creamy, but Dorie says not to overbeat the butter/sugar mixture. Add the espresso.
Vanilla. I used my vanilla bean paste, which has real flecks of vanilla bean. Mix batter again until fully incorporated.
Get out 4 oz. of bittersweet chocolate. Chop into tiny pieces.
Add to batter.
The next step is to flatten the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Dorie talks about this plastic bag method, but I didn’t have a gallon-size plastic bag. So I lined a 9×13 pan with plastic wrap, topped with the dough, then another sheet of plastic wrap. Smooth the dough over the plan to even 1/4 in size thickness. Then chill in the refrigerator overnight. After the dough has chilled for at least three hours or overnight, lift the plastic wrap to remove the dough from the pan and remove top layer of plastic wrap.
Cut into 1 1/2 in. x 1 1/2 in. squares. I eye-balled it and mine came out more like rectangles. If you want them to look really nice get out a ruler and trim edges. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Prick top with a fork a couple of times. I baked my cookies for 13 minutes at 325 degrees F. Dorie recommends a longer cook time, but I thought mine would have been too crisp if I left them in the oven any longer.
Cool on wire rack.
They looked like little domino cookies.
I had the genius idea to add them to bowls of ice cream at Sunday’s dinner. They’re also good with coffee or by themselves.
RECIPE: The full recipe can be found at Life’s Too Short Not To Eat Dessert First. It is also on page 125 of Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. To see other Espresso Chocolate Shortbread concoctions, check out the other TWD bakers.