Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Coffee and Cream Shortbreads

Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Series

Cookies are kind of my thing. Some people paint, others knit or sew. I bake. And my preferred medium is, frankly, little bites of sweet delectablity called cookies. They can be gorgeous pillows of fluffy, melt in your mouth softness or spicy pairings that coax exclamations from your tongue. And always they are compact bits of cuteness, adorned with frosting or chocolate or the appealing frivolity of sprinkles. Is there anyone that dislikes cookies? I'm pretty sure there isn't. If there is, I don't want to know them.

Every holiday, I embark on a time honored family tradition of baking such enormous amounts and varieties of cookies that my freezer literally bows under the weight of sugar. I begin the weekend of Thanksgiving and I don't stop until my bins are stuffed full of crinkles, doodles, sandwiches and shortbreads. The beauty of cookies is that they freeze wonderfully, growing moister under the pressure of that crystallization until they emerge just before Christmas like baking beauties you've miraculously given birth to. First, there was nothing. And then I said, let there be cookies. And the cookies gave their deliciousness to the world.

This year, I've collected twelve cookie recipes over at Pinterest that will grace our holiday gift giving boxes this year. Some are old favorites, others are new adventures but I'm going to share the entire dozen with you here, one day at a time. Twelve Days of Cookies. I know, right? You're already humming that song in your head. How could you help it?! My gift to you, dear reader. Happy Holidays!

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies


We'll start first with my variation on these charming circles of appeal, Chocolate Dipped Turkish Coffee Shortbreads. These are a new recipe for this year, but I'll give you three reasons why they'll be back next year.

1. Coffee!!!
2. All that Cardamom- so fragrant and warm.
3. More Coffee!!!

In my variation, the white chocolate sets just the right note to accompany this buttery round. Plus, they're quite gorgeous, as you can see. This is a recipe from a blog, The View From Great Island , that I follow and highly recommend. It's crowded with artisan offerings that delight my inner foodie. Welcome to the first day of Christmas, friends.

Coffee and Cream Shortbreads, Holiday Cookies

We begin with a simple line-up of ingredients. Shortbreads don't contain much. But that butter? Yep. Makes every bite worthwhile.

Coffee and Cream Shortbreads, Holiday Cookies

The dough should be slightly sticky but firm. Add a little more butter or a smidgen more of vanilla extract if it's not pulling together. I got to use my new mixer that I won from Brit + Co. It's brilliantly gorgeous.

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

I decided to use simple rounds, but you can use any shape you like. You want to roll these about 1/4 inch thick. Choice, friends. It's all about choice.

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

I stamped mine with my cookie stamper, cause I take every opportunity to use that sucker that I can get. Adorbs. Stick them in the fridge or freezer quickly to firm them up before baking and those imprints will be better defined when they emerge from baking.

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies


Make your chocolate coating and let the cookies cool and firm before dipping. I went with a white chocolate coating to mimic a coffee with cream flavor, but you can use bittersweet chocolate as the original recipe calls for is you prefer a more complexity.

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

After dipping, I went ahead and sprinkled the white chocolate with some ground espresso beans. Because why the hell not.

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

And there you have it. The first day of Christmas cookies. And it begins as all good things should begin. With coffee. Dip a bit and enjoy. And come back for more brilliant holiday baking next week. Happy holidays, friends!

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

Coffee and Cream Shortbread, Holiday Cookies

Coffee and Cream Shortbreads

Ingredients:
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp finely ground coffee (espresso or french roast) Use less for a more subtle effect.
1 Tbsp ground cardamom, use less for a more subtle effect.
1 tsp. vanilla extract

8 oz white chocolate (chips, or cut in small pieces)
1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions:
Set oven to 350F
Put the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the butter and salt. Mix together until combined.
Mix in the flour, cardamom, vanilla extract, and ground coffee until the dough just comes together.
Pull the dough together with your hands and set on a floured surface. Roll out to about 1/4 inch.
Cut out the cookies using your preferred cookie cutter. I stamped mine with the words merry using a cookie stamper.
Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet and chill briefly, then bake for about 10 minutes.
Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make the chocolate coating, put the white chocolate and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler. Warm water on medium low. Stir until chocolate is melted, then remove from heat and cool slightly before dipping cookies.

Dip half of each cooled cookie in the chocolate, and let the excess drip off. Set the cookies down on parchment paper to harden.

Did this holiday cookie recipe get you humming? Don't miss the rest of the series! Follow A Sweet Little Life on Facebook to see more holiday baking goodness. 

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