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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Espresso Chocolate Shortbread

makes 25 cookies
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
prep time: 15 min / cook time: 18-20 min

1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tbsp boiling water
1 c unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
2/3 c mini chocolate chips

• Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water and set aside to cool to tepid.
• With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes until the mixture is very smooth.
• Beat in vanilla and espresso, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough.
* Don't work the dough much once the flour is incorporated.
• Fold in the chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula.
• Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-sized zip-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open and roll the dough into a 10x10" square that's 1/4" thick. 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 up to 2 days.
* As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn't cause creases.
• Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325
˚ F. Line two 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, discarding the bag, and using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 2" 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.
* I skipped this step and didn't notice a difference in the cookie.
• Bake for 18-20 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 color.
• Transfer the cookies to a rack.




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