Espresso Chocolate Shortbread

Do you remember the Espresso Cupcakes?  Well, I do because what’s not to love about chocolate and espresso.  These two awesome flavors join forces to create a lovely cookie.

I’m back at college, so I’m working with limited resources.  You’ll see later all of the examples of this throughout the post.  Who hasn’t had one of those moments when they need some key ingredient or important gadget?

Mix one tablespoon of espresso powder with a tablespoon of boiling water.  Let the espresso steep until it cools. Feel free to use strongly brewed coffee or espresso in place just just 2 tablespoons of either.

I brought lots of random ingredients with me to college in little plastic baggies including espresso powder.  No I’m not a drug dealer, I’m just bringing some sodium bicarbonate to college.  (P.S. Sodium bicarbonate is common baking soda)

Begin by mixing together the 2 sticks of butter and powdered sugar.

It would be great to have a had a mixer but this is college.  I had to mix it all by hand.  It’s best to have softened butter.  I took the butter out of the fridge 1 hour before I was ready to bake.  Don’t worry if you forget to prepare ahead of time, I always always always forget.  Put the butter in the microwave on the lowest power level for 20-40 seconds (depending on the strength of your microwave).

My home microwave melts my butter in 10 seconds where the college microwave tookover 40 seconds.  Play around with yours because you never want melted butter in your recipe that doesn’t call for it.  But, on the other hand, when you’re mixing by hand, harder butter means more elbow grease. Great for those buff crew arms I’m trying to build.

Mix the butter until it is all smooth, and there are no chunks.  By hand: 5 minutes, by mixer: 3 minutes on medium.

Here’s where the butter is incorporated with the sugar but there are still visible chunks.  You don’t want butter chunks in your cookies. →

Here the butter is all mixed in sans chunks. Ready for the next step. ↓

Add the espresso mixture and the vanilla.You can see striations of butter (I hope I used striations right, it sounded good?).  This step helps magnify the butter clumps, keep stirring to  incorporate all of these.

Add the flour just until it’s all mixed in.  Don’t overmix or you will get tough cookies instead of chewy, gooey cookies.

Add the chocolate chips.  I brought chocolate chips from home to college (my tight budget college mind).  But of course, I had them in my car for 6 hours on the drive up to college and in my room for a few days.  When I was gathering up my ingredients, I discovered my chocolate chips were no longer chocolate chips, but instead one giant chocolate chip all melted together.

So I had my lovely friend, Karen, chop it up for me into bite sized pieces.

Add the chocolate pieces to the dough and mix just until incorporated.

Look at the soft, tasty dough.

Place the delicious sticky dough into a gallon bag. Use a rolling pin or your hands (for those lacking key

gadgets). Pat or roll until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.

Put in the fridge for 2 hours or in the freezer for 25 minutes.

Remove from the cold unit.  Preheat your oven to 325˚F.  Cut in squares.  Put on a greased baking sheet.  Of course, our kitchen had no baking sheets.  (We just got our lovely old house renovated so I had to trade baking sheets for new windows and insulation to prevent frostbite in the winter).  The sacrifices I make.

Use a fork to poke holes in the cookies.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.  The cookies will harden a little more after they come out of the oven.  If you want softer cookies, bake for 15 minutes.  For crunchier shortbread, 18 minutes.

Enjoy these delectable shortbread with a glass of milk.  You’ll taste the intense coffee flavor while your tongue feels the melting chocolate.   Finally, you’ll taste that smooth buttery flavor characteristic of shortbread (2 sticks of butter will do that).

Recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Recipe:Chocolate Espresso Shortbread

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