Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TWD: Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies


The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is have a cup of coffee. If I plan to run that morning, I have the coffee before I run, which I'm sure violates all sorts of fitness rules. It is very important that I have my coffee before I speak to any human beings. My children know that I do not make/find/reach/feed/retrieve/help/turn on/turn off/mediate until I have the first sip of coffee, which has led to some pointed questions about the limits of my rule: "What if someone is bleeding?" "What if there is a fire?" "What if there is a lizard in the house?" I think I've helped them understand that I will rise to the occasion in case of a true emergency {as defined by me}, but that the house default rule is that nearly everything can wait the approximately 3.5 minutes between when I get out of bed and when the first splash of java hits my mouth.

But while coffee is a vitally important element of my morning ritual, it is only a part of my morning ritual. I have one cup in the morning, and then no interest in it -- in fact, kind of an aversion to it -- the rest of the day. Except for that one morning cup that is so essential to my sunny disposition, I rarely drink the stuff. And, more relevant to this week's post {not that I have ever been constrained by relevancy when writing blog posts}, I don't really care for coffee flavored food. So I wasn't sure how I'd like this week's TWD recipe, Espresso Chocolate Shortbread cookies, chosen by Donna of Life's Too Short Not to Eat Dessert First. {Amen!} They sounded interesting though, and I have enjoyed many of Dorie's shortbread recipes, so I was eager to try them.

I just celebrated my two year blogiversary by . . . actually writing a blog post for the first time in two months! It's funny to think about the things that help us mark time. My baby was an infant when I joined TWD two years ago. I would wait for her to go down for her nap, or fall asleep at night, and then start baking {sometimes recruiting my two older children to be my helpers}. Well, these two years in TWD have flown by, as evidenced by the fact that my baby is now a chair climbing, kitchen-aid monitoring, bowl-scraping, rolling pin-wielding helper in her own right:




The dough is made with confectioner's sugar and a tablespoon of espresso powder, in addition to the usual suspects -- lots and lots {and lots} of butter, flour, vanilla. Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate get folded into the dough, and then the {extremely soft} dough gets rolled out in a ziploc bag. It then needs a good stint in the refrigerator in order to be properly cuttable. I let mine stay there overnight. Then cut off the bag, slice the dough into little rectangles, and bake.



The verdict? Well, my older two children would not try these, and my youngest spit it out {which is hardly a reliable commentary about the quality of the cookies - I don't think that espresso cookies are likely to be embraced by the preschool set any time soon}. My husband did not eat these because they contain chocolate. Which leaves me. I like most things that contain copious amounts of butter and sugar, and these cookies are no exception. Will they go down as my favorite cookie ever? No. This may be the first recipe I've baked with confectioner's sugar (as opposed to white or brown) and I'm not sure I cared for the resulting texture {if the texture was in fact sugar-related}. But I think folks who like coffee-flavored desserts will enjoy these immensely, so I'm filing this one away in my "coffee-flavored dessert" arsenal. Thanks for the pick, Donna!

15 comments:

natalia said...

Ciao Cathy ! I love your 'baby' helper she looks grande !! I perfectly know the way kids say:" and if..?" they are great !! Baci

Flourchild said...

Great pictures! I love your cookies by the coffee cup!
I put in a candy bar!

Kayte said...

Darling, darling photos of C! This time has flown, where is that baby on the hip of yore??? I have to say, you win this week in the photo department, that shot of the cookies with the cup of coffee is stellar...yes, stellar!! The guys loved these...I forgot the little holes until the last pan because I am just that non-attentive to detail on a daily basis. They were eating them hand over fist and I only had enough time to plop them all in a pie plate, take a quick shot, and move aside while they devoured them in handfuls of six each, returning randomly for more. I would say that qualifies as a hit. Happy Blog Anniversary...these things come around so quickly.

Di said...

Happy blogiversary! I can't believe Caroline has gotten so big. Of course, I look at Gillian and think the same thing. A tiny part of me misses the babies, but most of me is much happier now that my kids are somewhat more independent and self-sufficient. Except in the cases of the emergencies you mentioned...no lizards in the house, but I thought I'd never stop hearing about the spider in the bathroom... =)

Pamela said...

Hey! Thanks for the kind words of kindergarten support! I am excited for h, but on edge, too. He seems so unsure of the whole idea, and I just keep trying to be positive and reassureing. I am just hoping for the best right now! By the way, great pictures of your daughter! So sweet.

Jess said...

Your shortbread squares look great sitting next to that cup of coffee. I too need my morning fix, and I only want that one cup - hence my love affair with the Keurig brewer. And you give me hope that one day my lunatic toddler will be a great kitchen helper like your little one!

Katrina said...

Love that last picture of your lil' helper hanging on to her rolling pin.

Jacque said...

Hmmm, maybe these are the anti-coffee cookie, defying the laws of coffee loving and hating. I hate coffee, but I kind of liked these. Go figure. Anyway, you've got a perfectly pink little princess to help you and I am officially jealous since my helpers are grubby little boys who don't actually help.

ladaisi said...

Wow I am a huge fan of anything with espresso! These look great.

How does your husband NOT like chocolate?!!! I am also a yankee living in the deep south and my husband is from the south - he likes fried EVERYTHING.

Beth said...

Those cookies look great. I'm not a coffee fan myself, so I'd probably go with the oatmeal spice version.

Audrey said...

Greetings from hot and steamy, pre-Hurricane-Earl-except-it's-not-coming-here-to-our-parts-of-CT-in-spite-of-what-the-newspapers-say Connecticut. Because I'm a baker, no one every bakes anything for me...and especially not something that I would like and they wouldn't! So I like you even more because you're putting a coffee recipe in your arsenal. Your color-coordinated photo shoot is very lovely, and so is your sous-chef, btw!

TeaLady said...

And your new kitchen monitor/helper is adorable. Cannot wait until my Wee T (Granddaughter) is old enuff t help me in the kithcen. But I don't want her to grow up too soon.

I liked these, but I didn't use espresso. Sorry these weren't a fav.

Miss you on Twitter.

Jo Romero said...

!! These look fab - I know what you mean about needing the first sip of coffee in the morning - emergencies yes - anything else can wait I agree! Love these cookies, will find the recipe and give them a try :)

Leslie said...

Great cookies (and better for the kids not to have lots of caffeine and sugar, right?

It just doesn't get any better than having a sweet, cute helper to monitor the KitchenAid! I'm glad your family understands the pivotal cup of coffee (the lack of which IS a true emergency). It took several years before M. could understand how just holding it improved my mood. Our first trip to Paris, he read the entire camera manual before we could leave the hotel and I almost killed him. Now he understands that immediate coffee = happy Leslie.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like the texture either - but then I discovered that they taste amazing when frozen!

 
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