We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Cookie Recipe #363 - Espresso Shortbread

Need to stay awake to greet the New Year? Eat a few of these delicious shortbread cookies for that extra "burst" of energy. Make up earlier in the day, then leave in the refrigerator until evening-just slice, bake and serve!

Ingredients: 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground espresso beans, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

Instructions: Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the mixing blade and mix until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour, ground espresso beans, vanilla and salt, mix well and scrape again. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch-diameter logs and cover with parchment paper. Place the logs in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray; set aside. With the tip of a very sharp knife, cut 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices of the dough and place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake until the cookies are just beginning to brown on the edges, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

"Cookies 52 Easy Recipes for Year-Round Baking", John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2007.

Cookies Rule!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for so many great recipes throughout the year! Have a Happy 2011!