Saturday, September 18, 2010

Espresso Shortbread-by-the-Dozen

By the time this scheduled entry is posted, I'll be in sunny (hopefully) Phuket! Bf and I snagged the air tickets way back in January during a sale. What a long ass wait! It would be a short getaway for us, we spaced out the activities so we'll have no agenda for some of the days to waste ourselves away. I'm gonna miss my ovennnnnn lol

One last bake before I fly. Grabbed this off one of my baking books. Espresso shortbread! Once I started splitting the dough up in 7 pieces, I was reminded how I dread baking stuffs from the cookie and shortbread family. Sticky messy dough...accidentally flicked one or two bits onto my baking book. The good thing is, however, now my baking book is 4-dimensional - when I read the recipe, I can smell the page to remember how the bakes turn out to be LOL

Think I've underbaked them a little as I pulled them out from the oven at the 45th min mark. A few more mins shall make them the texture even better. Nevertheless, this crumbly shortbread melt in your mouth, leaving a rich buttery taste coupled with sophisticated coffee flavor. The salt also adds a new dimension to the sweetness. You can leave out the espresso powder if you want plain shortbread, but I'll prefer them with it.
Espresso Shortbread-by-the-Dozen (adapted from Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions)

255g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
120g sugar
2 tsp espresso powder, ground
1 to 2 tsp vanilla extract (I use 2)

1. Preheat oven to 150°C and prepare a 8" square baking pan with parchment paper
2. Sift flour and salt and set aside
3. Beat butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth
4. Add in sugar and ground espresso and beat until mixture is light and fluffy
5. Add in vanilla during the final moments of mixing
6. Divide the dough into 7 equal pieces. Place 1 piece close to each corner of the prepared pan and the 3 remaining just off the pan's center
7. Using your fingertips, spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. To hasten the spreading, you can place a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface of the dough and use a pastry roller (or even a soda can - I use this) to help spreading it evenly
8. Prick the surface all over with a fork
9. Use a knife and cut the dough into six 1 1/4inch-wide strips and all the way through the midpoint to form 4-inch long rectangles
10. Bake the shortbread 45 to 50 mins, until pale gold but yet brown and transfer to wire rack
11. Without delay, gently cut the warm shortbread along the marked lines with a small sharp knife (This prevents the squares from breaking once the shortbread has been cooled)
12. When completely cool, using the ends of the parchment as handles, lift the shortbread out of the pan. If necessary, carefully break the shortbread into bars along the marked lines

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jean,

    The idea of expresso shortbread sounds good. Pair it with cocoa powder and it will become another nice combination, Mocha Shortbread. Among all cookies, shortbread is one of my fav because of its sandy crumbly texture.

    I read that this book is quite a nice one. Came across it in the library but have yet to browse through it. Its quite expensive in book stores. How do you find the book? Worth it?

    cheers =]