Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Coffee Chocolate-chunk shortbread cookies

I wanted to bake with coffee for a really long time. I do not drink coffee, but I love the bitter taste nevertheless. Combine it with some dark chocolate, and nothing can beat that taste and aroma :).

So when I came across this recipe for Coffee-chocolate-chunk-shortbread cookies on Divya's blog, I was hooked. I baked these a while back, and it was on my drafts for really long.

I scaled the recipe by 1/2. I over baked them a bit too; but no one noticed, the coffee-chocolate flavour was so addictive :).

Recipe adapted from Divya's post:

Instant coffee powder - 1/2 tbsp
Hot water - 1/2 tbsp
Butter - 100 gms (1/2 cup or 1 stick)
Powdered sugar - 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp
Salt - a pinch
All purpose flour - 1 cups
Chocolate - 1/4 cup chopped (into small chunks) (I used dark chocolate)
Dissolve the instant coffee powder in the water and keep aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and powdered sugar till smooth, not light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). 
Beat in the vanilla and dissolved coffee.

Turn down the mixer to low speed and add the flour and salt, mix only till the flour is incorporated into the dough. Overworking the dough is not a good idea as it affects the texture of the shortbread.
Now fold in the chocolate chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Using the spatula, transfer the dough (it will be a bit sticky) into a medium sized Ziploc bag. Leave the bag open, place on your work surface and slowly press out the dough with a rolling pin so it becomes a 6" by 8" rectangle about 1/4" thick.
Turn the bag to the other side as well, while rolling, and occasionally lift the bag from the dough to smooth out the creases. Take care to see no air pockets remain and gently press out any. Seal the Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least two hours or upto 2 days.
I chilled the dough only for a couple of hours. That could be one reason for the texture difference.
The longer the dough is chilled the easier the dough is to handle, and the better the cookies hold their shape when baked. So please make sure the dough chills for about 24 hours.
When the dough has chilled enough, take it out. Place on a cutting surface and slit the Ziploc bag open. Take the chilled rectangle of dough out, and cut into 1 1/2" squares with a sharp knife after marking them out using a ruler.
Place the squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment (I just placed them on ungreased cookie sheets) and prick them well with a fork.

Bake at 180C for 12 to 14 minutes till they look golden. The baking time needs to be judged well, as the dough is already a pale brown, or one might end up with slightly burnt shortbread squares that no one wants to eat! So keep a watch on them once they've baked for 8 minutes.

Dust the shortbread squares with powdered sugar while they're hot, if you prefer.
Cool on a rack. 

Verdict: This was a great hit. Everyone loved the combination of flavours and the chewy   texture. I plan to repeat this recipe with the recommended chilling time baking time.      
priya's signature image at photobucket

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