Recipe: espresso chocolate chip shortbread
What new views through the lens? I went leaf hunting today and found…
leftover snow on the mountains
The rest of the sampler from today’s jaunt is on the photo blog.
Right, so the title of today’s post should read “to the dogs(‘ sitters)”. Miss Kaweah is going to vacay at Camp Crazy this weekend. We decided that my working road trips are much happier and more sane for all involved if Kaweah goes to camp rather than sit in the back of the Subaru whining her brains out for hours on end. Every time I take Kaweah to Camp Crazy, I pay the bill and when I sign the receipt, I notice a line for tip. Do you tip your kennel? Considering what we pay for Camp Crazy (it’s *expensive*) I have a hard time squeezing more money out of my wallet. [Edit: I found this wallet years ago in some random department store. It was exactly what I wanted. I bought it. Since then I have had a number of girlfriends inform me - between giggles and guffaws - that I have a man's wallet. What, I asked, is a woman's wallet supposed to look like? Apparently, not like mine. Whatevs.]
espresso to batter
mini chocolate chips
Of course, I don’t want any hard feelings to be taken out on my girl. I doubt they would anyway because they love her there and she walks into the place with a “hey yo, my peeps…” Still, I figured bribery in the form of some caffeinated cookies is a sure fire plan if her sweet disposition doesn’t win them over.
everyone likes some dough
roll it out
I have made one hundred million billion of these cookies to date. Yes, check that quantity. It is totally accurate. I browse a lot of food blogs for inspiration, for ideas, but there are very few that provide recipes I want to try outright. One of those blogs is Smitten Kitchen. Yeah, I know – Deb inspires you too, eh? Fo shiz. I used to make several batches of cookies a week when I lived at sea-level. My co-workers and colleagues loved me… or maybe they just loved my cookies?! The GDC (Gross Domestic Cookies) level plummeted when I moved to our nose-bleed elevation because I wasn’t dealing well with the high-altitude baking scene. I’ve been slowly coming back to cookies because they make the best gifts to ship or hand over to a deserving individual. More than anything, I have discovered that shortbreads are pretty stable up here. Very nice.
measure the slices
slap it on a baking sheet and go
I made a double batch of these today. I make a double batch *every* time (that is how we got to the one hundred million billion) because people LOVE this cookie. Jeremy loves it. My neighbors love it. Astronomy graduate students love it. My buds around the country love it. MIL loves it. Our local ornery postal staff – they love it. Subaru service team. Love it. Surgeon, nurses, radiation techs, dude who draws my blood, oncologist… Love it. [My oncologist asked for the recipe!] Camp Crazy: they will love it. Oh yes, they will. And so will you. Go thank Deb. Everyone in Colorado and then some will be thanking her by year’s end.
this cookie will solve our energy crisis
Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread
from Smitten Kitchen
*Note: I didn’t follow all of the instructions in Deb’s version because I am a lazy bum.
1 tbsp instant espresso powder (I like Medaglia D’Oro)
1 tbsp boiling water
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped OR 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Dissolve espresso powder in boiling water. Set aside to cool to tepid. Beat 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 mixer speed to low and add 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 or chips with a sturdy rubber spatula. Using the spatula, transfer dough to a gallon-size zip-loc bag. Put bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 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 and 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. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-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 (okay, I didn’t poke the cookies and they’re fine). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point (I didn’t do that either – I bake one sheet at a time). The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving. Makes about 3 dozen.