People often ask me what my favorite thing to bake is and part of me kinda hates that question. To be completely honest, I understand why they ask, but I never know how to answer. What I like to bake changes more often than the weather in Texas. I have not personally experienced that, but I heard it on my walk to work. Shout out to the Josh Abbott Band for their lyrics, “Her moods can change like the weather out in Lubbock” for inspiring this analogy. Sorry for that tangent. I occasionally go through phases, a couple of months ago I was baking a new muffin a week or I wake up with a craving for something.
For some reason, shortbread has been on my mind and I just can’t shake it. Not even just regular shortbread, although those are great too. Mostly daydreaming about the possibilities to take such an amazing base (soft and buttery) and make it even more delectable. Not sure if that is even possibly, but a girl can dream right? Today after one too many coffees and a beautiful day out I figured I would get back in the kitchen and whip up something sweet.
My baking has been on a bit of a lull due to the new job, but I feel like I have finally hit my stride and I am ready to start experimenting again. It could be my coffee infused blood stream but I almost always like to pair rich dark chocolate with coffee. I love how the coffee rounds out chocolate to give depth and layers of flavor. I add it to cake or brownies or basically anything when I just want to kick it up a notch.
I really wanted to do something with chocolate and cherries today but I am out of dried cherries and jam and don’t want to run out to the store. That may be lazy on my part, but why make the extra trip when I can make a cookie just as delicious and grab cherries on my way home from work tomorrow.
I have a confession to make about cookies. For some reason, I really hate roll out cookies. I can do it, and I will make the exception every now and then, but any time I can avoid it, I will. The recipe that inspired me today was for a roll out cookie, but I couldn’t be bothered so I turned it into a slice and bake version. It worked really well which I am thrilled about. I was a little worried about them being a perfect circle, so I pressed them into a biscuit cutter to make sure they were round, but that is not necessary. They will taste just as delicious no matter what shape they are.
Dark Chocolate Espresso Shortbread
Inspired by The View from Great Island
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Cream butter until light and fluffy.
- Sift in cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat until fully combined.
- Add in the espresso and vanilla extract, once they are mixed in add the flour until the flour is completely incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips then transfer the mixture to a piece of wax paper.
- Roll into a log approximately 2 inches wide and about 10 inches long. Refrigerate until moderately firm.
- Preheat to 335º.
- Remove log from the refrigerator and slice into 1/2 inch rounds.
- Bake for 12 minutes then let cool on the tray until they can be transferred to a wire rack, be careful they are delicate.