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Monday, April 26, 2010

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread

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Our friends Eric and Kathleen invited us over to their home for dinner this weekend. Kat is an amazing cook and has such a talent for design. She puts together the most beautiful tables, and Saturday night was no exception! The food was incredible, and I just sat in awe trying to soak up every little detail of the gorgeous place settings and artfully arranged appetizers and desserts. I will definitely be hounding her for some recipes (salted caramel ice cream anyone???)

They recently started a dessert table business, Sweet Table Chicago. I had never heard of these before but apparently they are big in New York, and Kat is the first in Chicago! If you live in the Chicago area, you should definitely check her out. Yes, she's my friend and she's one of the sweetest people in the whole world, but I recommend her based on the work I've seen personally and the incredible table samples she has on her website! If we were staying in Chicago you can bet I would be hiring her for parties in the future!

I have been wanting to make these shortbread for a long time, so I decided I would take some to Eric and Kat since they both love chocolate and coffee. Bob and I snuck a few, and we thought these were great! The espresso flavor really comes through, and the mini-chocolate chips provide the perfect amount of chocolate. The dough is so simple to make (doesn't even require eggs), and because of the optional overnight chill time, you can split it into 2 days of minimal work. These are a great little cookie that I plan to serve again!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 Tablespoon boiling water
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Dissolve the espresso powder in the boiling water and set aside to cool to tepid.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Add the vanilla and the espresso and mix until incorporated.

3. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix only until it disappears into the dough. Fold in the mini-chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

4. Transfer the dough to a gallon-sized plastic bag. Place the bag on a flat work surface, leaving the top open. Roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2-inch rectangle that is about 1/4-inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it does not cause creases. When the dough has reached the desired size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much excess air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

5. Preheat the oven to 325F. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit open; discard bag. Using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to parchment-lined baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking by 180 degrees and from top to bottom. The cookies shouldn't take on much color while baking.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 - 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Smitten Kitchen and Baking: From My Home to Yours

7 comments:

  1. Wow, everything about that shortbread is awesome. I need to make some wicked bad.

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  2. Kathleen Olsen, Sweet Table Chicago4/26/10, 12:56 PM

    These cookies are sooo good! I love the flavor and how they just melt in your mouth. It was great to see you guys...good luck with the move!

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  3. I love shortbread! They look yummy!

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  4. Meghan, I never made shortbread like this before. This is such a fabulous idea. I am sure it tastes better then just the regular shortbread.
    Cheers,
    elra

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  5. What delicious shortbread! I love them with the espresso flavor and chocolate chips. And I love your dishes! So cute.

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  6. i am pretty tempted to go make this myself right now

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  7. Mmm, what perfect shortbread - I love the coffee and chocolate twist! And yes, please post the recipe for the salted caramel ice cream :)

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