The last couple of days have not been particularly productive, cookie-wise. Other things have kept me out of the kitchen and I’ve only made one batch of cookies each day. I’m still on track to finish before Christmas as long as I do two a day from here on out.
Wednesday I made the Mocha Nut Balls from Taste of Home (on the right in the photo). These have become one of my standard recipes because they’re just so good! They’re very similar to a chocolate snowball cookie I used to make with my mother, but with the addition of some instant coffee to give them a mocha flavor. As they are here, they’ve just had one coat of powdered sugar after cooling slightly. I’ll roll them in powdered sugar again before packing boxes of cookies. The first coat adheres to the warm surface of the cookie and the second coat sticks better to that first, slightly melted layer.
Thursday I made another coffee-flavored cookie, Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbreads from the Holiday 2013 edition of the King Arthur Flour “Baking Sheet” periodical (on the left in the photo). I think these turned out pretty nicely – they are nice and crispy with a slight coffee flavor. The Hubs tried one and said, “Tea cookies” and they probably would be good with a cup of tea or coffee for dunking. The recipe for these isn’t on the King Arthur website, unfortunately, so here it is! Though the original says this makes about 2 dozen, I made one and a half recipes, split the dough in half, and then patted each half into a 6×6″ square. I cut each square into 36 sections for a total of 72 cookies. I rolled them into balls and then flattened them with the bottom of a glass before baking.
Espresso Chocolate-Chip Shortbread
1 c unsalted butter
½ t salt
¾ c granulated sugar
2 T dark roasted coffee beans, coarsely ground
2 t vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
½ c white rice flour*
¾ c chopped semisweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment, or leave them ungreased.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, salt, and sugar together for two minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then add the ground coffee beans and vanilla. Mix to combine, and then add the flours. Mix once more until combined, scrape the bowl, and add the chopped chocolate.
Scoop the dough by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets; flatten cookies to ¼” thick. Bake for 30 minutes, until the bottom is browned and you see a hint of color on the edges of the cookies. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 15 minutes before removing.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
*If you don’t use rice flour, increase the all-purpose flour to 2 ½ cups
King Arthur Baking Sheet vol. XXIV no. 6 – Holiday 2013