Monday, December 12, 2011

Coffee Cookies

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I've already been to my company holiday party and strung some Christmas lights (on a friend's tree - I have yet to decorate). Clearly I need to get baking! (And should probably start my holiday shopping...) Instead of making my usual 37 dozen cookies, I'm going to go the minimal route and just bake as needed which is to say...not very much. I just end up eating the cookies I don't bring to the office so why go crazy? These shortbread cookies are fab not only because they are delish but because the recipe makes so few cookies, you won't find yourself eating them for days on end or trying to pawn them off on everyone you encounter, including the not-so-subtle mail carrier who leaves a holiday note in your mailbox. (Really??) The chocolate espresso kick reminds me of my favorite candy, Pocket Coffee, the best candy invention of our time. Incidentally now is the time to stock up as they are a seasonal candy and are only shipped during cold weather months (hint hint). Maybe I should hang a stocking or two just in case.

Mocha Shortbread
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely ground coffee beans, preferably espresso
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir in the coffee, and set aside.

2. Beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar, and beat well. Add the flour mixture, and beat until combined.

3. Pat the dough into an ungreased 8-inch round cake or springform pan lined with parchment paper. Bake until firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the shortbread from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges. Let cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before serving.

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