Thursday, November 24, 2005

Chocolate Espresso Shortbread


2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
9 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp finely ground espresso beans
1/4 tsp salt
coarse sugar for sprinkling


1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
12 chocolate-covered espresso beans

Make the shortbread

1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 F. Have a 9-inch round cake pan at hand.

2. Sift the flours and cocoa powder together into a medium bowl. Gently whisk to combine, and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using a paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, espresso and salt at medium-low speed until well blended. (don't overbeat; you don't want to incorporate a lot of air). At low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until the dough starts to come together and is no longer crumbly.

4. Press the dough evenly and firmly into the cake pan. Press the back of the tines of a fork all around the edges to make a decorative border. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake the shortbread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it is no longer shiny and is set. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

5. Using a sharp knife, cut the warm round into 12 wedges.

Garnish the cookies

6. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spoon a small dot of chocolate into centre of a shortbread wedge, and place a chocolate-covered espresso bean on the chocolate. Repeat with the remaining wedges. Let the chocolate set completely before serving.

Source: The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle, 2002

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