25 October 2011

Crackly Coffee Shortbread

My drip coffee ritual is now a common occurrence during the work week, thanks to a generous coworkers gifting of an electric burr grinder to the kitchen area. This also means that a dwindling bag of beans, not quite sufficient to brew a cup, has become something of an issue. I think I've got a solution to that, though. Adding to my long list of shortbread recipes is this one, a pleasantly crunchy, caffeine-spiked addition to any breakfast, snack, or tea time. The amount of beans I used was essentially a random guess that turned out to work quite well; the vanilla amount less so. The butter, sugar, vanilla, and coffee stage of the recipe smelled like heaven, but adding the flour muted the vanilla and baking it seems to have eradicated it completely. I'd recommend playing around with the vanilla amounts to try and preserve that flavor.
Crackly Coffee Shortbread
Makes ~12 cookies
1 cup flour
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp roasted whole coffee beans, plus extra for garnish
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. If you don't cream them and instead just mix them, you will get a denser cookie. With a mortar and pestle, grind down the coffee beans to a size bigger than granulated sugar (if you like crunch) or finer (if you don't). Incorporate the coffee and vanilla into the mixing bowl. Add flour and mix until the dough goes back to being a dough, not a bunch of clumps of butter and flour. You may need to "knead" the dough a little by hand if mixing via spoon.

Take a portion of dough about the size of my thumb, or about 1/12th of the dough, and roll into a ball. Flatten between palms of hands and place on a baking sheet. Garnish each cookie with a bean or two (optional) and maybe a fancy design (also optional). Turn oven to 350 and while that is heating, place the cookies in the fridge (not optional in the slightest). After no less than 10 minutes in the fridge, and if the oven is heated, bake for 22 minutes or until the edges have taken a very light browning.

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