Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder (or instant coffee powder)
1/2 tablespoon boiling water
113g unsalted butter (1 sticks), at room temperature
40g icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
55g plain chocolate, very finely chopped
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Dissolve the espresso powder in the boiling water and set aside to cool.
Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth.
Beat in the vanilla and espresso and reduce mixer to low speed, add the flour until it just disappears into the dough - don’t work too much. Fold in chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula. (I folded in the chocolate halfway between additions of flour.)
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 to a rectangle that is ¼ 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. This is a great tip for rolling out dough for shortbread because you want a rectangle and the bag allows you to roll the dough to a nice rectangular shape. And no stickyness!
Getting ready to bake: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 160C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
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 1½-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.
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 colour. 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 got the recipe from here.
They tasted good out of the oven - nice sandy, crumbly texture and the melty chocolate bits were delicious. However, shortbread is supposed to taste better after sitting for a while and I will be giving these away so I won't be able to provide an accurate report on how these really taste like. However, given what I've tried out of the oven, I really like it! (Perhaps I would make them a little thicker next time though. 1/4" doesn't seem thick enough for me! I like shortbread with a lot of heft.)