Sunday, September 12, 2010

Espresso Chocolate Shortbread

I'm back! Anybody missed me? Haha honestly I don't expect anyone one to, perhaps with the exception of my mum :P. The trip to KL was amazingly awesome. Camp was great and I feel refreshed with a much more relaxed and peaceful heart. Camps are really special to me. The past two have been life-changing and I believe this one won't fall short either. Really looking forward to the good things that are going to happen in the days to come :).

I made these Espresso Chocolate Shortbread with the intention to bring them along for the trip. But at the last minute, I decided against it. There was going to be so much food and feeding at the camp that I rendered these unecessary, hence the decision was made. However, when I had hunger pangs in the middle of the night and no food was available, I regretted it! Arghhh I dislike my lack of kiasu-ness in times of need...

You know, I've never been a big fan of shortbread. The reason being I don't like butter. I never liked butter, milk, cheese due to their creaminess. Well, at least until I discovered Elle & Vire french butter. Using this makes me appreciate the lovely, refined taste of french butter and slowly develop a love for shortbread. For me, using good butter in shortbread is a must as the butter flavour really comes out in these cookies. Oh, and good chocolate too, of course :).

Shortbread cookies are so crisp, so hardy - good for travelling! I was inspired by all the TWD posts on Dorie's Espresso Chocolate Shortbread and decided to make them myself. The results were great - the cookies were crisp with a nice melt-in-your-mouth texture. The espresso-chocolate combination is also another winner, melty chocolate bits with hints of espresso providing that extra "kick".

Hmmm these are really yummy. At the rate I'm going, I'm really beginning to develop a liking for shortbread. I'm really tempted to make matcha shortbread or sables the next time round...hmmm...wish me luck? :)

Espresso Chocolate Shortbread
adapted from Baking from my home to yours

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water, and set aside to cool to tepid.
2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the 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 chopped chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula.
3. Using the spatula, 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 into a 9-x-10½ -inch rectangle that’s 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 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.
4. When ready to bake, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
5. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board 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.
6. 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 color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.
7. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

Yields 32 cookies


  1. Nice cookies, I like anything with espresso, and I'm sure I will like this one, will try to bake this soon!

  2. No, I can't say I have missed you.. see, you left the door wide open for blunt nasty responses like mine!

    Still, always glad to have a familiar blogger back. Shortbread is always lovely... But it has to be enjoyed in moderation... Expresso chocolate- you have the 2 most addictive flavors here- what else can I say...

  3. I love shortbread! And yours definitely looks tempting. I'll be sure to give them a go once I'm all cookie-d out from the Eid cookies :P

  4. i think i must give that elle vire butter a try hehehe to see whats the difference. try matcha sables! u wont be disappointed! ;) now this makes me wanna make cookies again soon...

  5. Allie, you should try matcha shortbread, provided that you've developed a liking for shortbread. I made them before. Awesome!

    Yeap, Elle & Vire and other brands of premium European butter are simply superb! But, they come with heavy price tags. HAHA!

    Btw, why would you travel all the way up to K.L. to camp!!?? LOL! As a KL-ite, I'm scratching my head ... Har?

  6. Min: Thanks for your sweet comments! Looking forward to your posts :)

    Shirley: Haha yes, in moderation! They're too high on butter content and really tests my self-control sometimes...

    ovenhaven: Haha...I see you've been baking loads of cookies these days. Your place must be like a cookie haven now!

    Chelle: Try it! I love this brand of butter :). Yea...I've been meaning to make matcha sables since tasting yours months ago...they were sooo good!

    Pei Lin: I'm torn! Matcha shortbread vs matcha sables...hmmm...which should I do first?

    Yea agree that they come with a bigger price tag...but I'm a tad spoilt when it comes to the type of butter used. Other ingredients, I can compromise (not chocolate though)...haha.

    Well, camping at KL is to ensure that we won't get distracted by all the things going on at home! Like work and it's fully focused and peaceful :).



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