As far as caffeinated morning beverages go, coffee (in its many variations) is not my cup of tea. =) I like the smell, but not the taste. I don't care for most coffee flavored things (e.g. ice cream) either. But as a result of all my baking, I have come to appreciate instant espresso powder. In particular, I love the little boost it gives to chocolate desserts. But in most of those recipes, you don't really taste the espresso, it just intensifies the chocolate flavor. So I was a bit uncertain when I saw this week's Tuesdays with Dorie pick. Donna of Life's too short not to eat dessert first chose Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies for us to make this week. But with the addition of chocolate, I figured they were worth a try, especially since I love shortbread.
Shortbread cookies have a pretty short list of ingredients and are easy to mix up. You start with lots of butter, some powdered sugar, vanilla and all-purpose flour. I added salt (1/2 a teaspoon). These particular cookies are flavored with instant espresso powder dissolved in a bit of boiling water. Finally, mini chocolate chips are folded into the dough.
Where things get interesting is in the shaping technique for these cookies. You put the dough in a gallon-sized ziploc bag, and flatten it out. You roll out the dough inside the bag until it pretty much fills it. Then you chill the dough for a few hours. When ready to bake, you simply slit the bag open and cut the dough into squares. I was being a bit lazy and made bigger squares than usual (2" square before baking). I baked them for 17 minutes and ended up with about 2 dozen. To dress them up, I tried dipping some of my cookies in chocolate.
The verdict? I liked these more than I expected to, since coffee isn't my favorite flavoring. They were well-received by everyone I shared them with (I took some of them to work). The humidity around here had a bit of a negative effect on the texture of the chocolate dipped ones (I really need to learn to temper chocolate), but they were still tasty. I don't know if I'd make these again just for myself, but I can certainly see making them again as gifts. I do want to try Dorie's alternative of Oatmeal Spice Shortbread--I completely missed the variation until someone mentioned it on this week's P and Q.
If you'd like to try these for yourself, head over to Donna's blog for the recipe. And check out this week's Links to see what everyone else thought of these cookies.