Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chocolate-Coffee Shortbread Cookies

When I came across this recipe I knew it was going to be one that I just had to try...  And since I was home by noon on the one and only snow day in Texas, what else would I do rather than use this extra time to bake something!? I love shortbread, I love chocolate, and I love coffee so to find cookies that incorporated all of these amazing flavors was obviously going to be awesome. The recipe that I used was originally 'Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies' but I couldn't seem to find any instant espresso at my grocery store so I just made some super potent instant coffee instead. Don't worry though, they were still very tasty.. so if you can find instant espresso then by all means use it, but if you can't then now you know instant coffee will work just as well. The semi-sweet chocolate chips are a perfect addition to these light and buttery cookies with a rich coffee flavor.

Although I wanted to eat all these yummy cookies myself (I mean, I did eat one.. I had to make sure they weren't poisoned or anything ya know?!) I was actually making them with a specific person in mind- my Daddy Tom. 

That's me and my Dad after my first triathlon.

My dad is also a lover of chocolate and coffee and he just happens to be in Afghanistan right now saving the world.. if you aren't lucky enough to know my father, he's basically one of the most awesome and amazing people I know. I may be a little bias because he is my father, but I think anyone who chooses to fight for a cause they believe in and makes the decision to go somewhere because they want to make a difference is a true hero. So when I decided to make him something to send over the pond, I knew they had to be something good and something that would travel well. Enough about my amazing father, on to the recipe! 

Chocolate-Coffee Shortbread Cookies
found on SmittenKitchen who adapted from: Baking: From My Home to Yours
Oven: 325 Bake Time: 18-20  minute
Makes 32 cookies (I actually halved the recipe here when I made my batch)

1 TBS instant espresso powder OR instant coffee powder
1 TBS boiling water
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips chopped a little more)

-Dissolve coffee or espresso in boiling water and set aside.
-Beat butter and sugar together until mixture is smooth (if you're using a stand mixer use a paddle attachment) Once smooth, beat in vanilla extract and coffee. 
-Reduce speed and add flour. Make sure not to over mix it.. just mix long enough so you can't see it anymore.
-Fold in chocolate chips.
The next step can be done 1 of 2 ways: 
1. Smitten Kitchen suggests the following: Transfer dough into a gallon-size ziplock bag. Place bag on a flat surface and roll the dough out while in the bag into a 9 X 10 1/2 inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. When the dough is the right thickness, seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. I actually laid out a piece of saran wrap out on a flat surface and dusted it with flour. I transfered the dough on to the saran wrap and with dusted hands flattened out the dough until it was about 1/4 inch thick, trimming the sides so they were straight with a knife. I dusted the flattened dough with flour, wrapped the remaining saran wrap over the top and refrigerated for 2 hours.
-After the dough was chilled, I unwrapped the dough and with a sharp knife cut the dough into squares. Transfer these squares to parchment paper lined baking sheets and prick each square with a fork.
-Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes. Once baked transfer to cooling rack and when those goodies are cool, dig in!

  Happy Baking!