October 6, 2009

Coffee And Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Squares

Coffee and chocolate can be quite an irresistible combination. I'm not really a coffee person and when I do drink coffee, I prefer it not too strong (not light either) and very milky. I can see all those coffee lovers (my husband included) wondering how such a concoction as I have described, could possible be called coffee. Well, everyone has their own preferences and that is mine.

Now I do like the coffee in ice-creams and other desserts as long as it isn't overpowering. I first saw these shortbread cookies posted at Smitten Kitchen and remember thinking I would like to make them. Then Manisha of Indian Food Rocks mentioned them again and I knew I wasn't postponing making them any longer.

This recipe is from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan and I have very slightly adapted her recipe. I used instant coffee powder instead of espresso powder and used milk chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate because my daughter loves shortbread and coffee and would have been disappointed with a less sweet version.

Dorie's recipe says 2 sticks of butter. Now 1 stick of butter works out as approximately 113gm but here I get butter either as 100gm or 500gm slabs!
Trying to add another 13 gm of butter to every 100gm of butter just doesn't seem worth the effort, so I used 2 slabs of butter which is equal to 200gm and I didn't think it made much of a difference.


1 tbsp instant coffee powder

1 tbsp hot water

200gm butter

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup chopped (into small chunks) milk chocolate

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


Dissolve the instant coffee powder in the water and keep aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and powdered sugar till smooth, not light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla and dissolved coffee.

Turn down the mixer to low speed and add the flour and salt, mix only till the flour is incorporated into the dough. Overworking the dough is not a good idea as it affects the texture of the shortbread.
Now fold in the chocolate chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Using the spatula, transfer the dough (it will be a bit sticky) into a large Ziploc bag. Leave the bag open, place on your work surface and slowly press out the dough with a rolling pin so it becomes a 9" by 10 1/2" rectangle about 1/4" thick.
Turn the bag to the other side as well, while rolling, and occasionally lift the bag from the dough to smooth out the creases. Take care to see no air pockets remain and gently press out any. Seal the Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least two hours or upto 2 days.

The longer the dough is chilled the easier the dough is to handle, and the better the cookies hold their shape when baked. So please make sure the dough chills for about 24 hours.

I got some not-so-perfect looking cookies the first time I made them as I chilled the dough only for 2 hours. I needed to make these cookies at a bit of a short notice and couldn't chill them any longer.
My daughter wanted these as her after school snack with milk; I also wanted to send some with my husband who was traveling out for a few days and gift some to a blogging foodie who had come down to Goa.
The next time I made them, I chilled them overnight.

When the dough has chilled enough, take it out. Place on a cutting surface and slit the Ziploc bag open. Take the chilled rectangle of dough out, and cut into 1 1/2" squares with a sharp knife after marking them out using a ruler.
Place the squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment (I just placed them on ungreased cookie sheets) and prick them well with a fork (I forgot to do this, but it didn't affect my cookies much).

Bake at 180C for 18 to 20 minutes till they look golden. The baking time needs to be judged well, as the dough is already a pale brown, or one might end up with slightly burnt shortbread squares that no one wants to eat! So keep a watch on them once they've baked for 15 minutes.

Dust the shortbread squares with powdered sugar while they're hot, if you prefer.
Cool on a rack. I forgot to count how many cookies I got, but there were quite a few. If you like coffee and chocolate these shortbread squares are most definitely for you.

Before I end this post, can anyone can identify the plant or flower in this picture?

I'm not going to help out by giving out clues either, because if I did everyone would know the answer and then it wouldn't be any fun guessing! Alright, I won't be a spoilsport. Let's just say that this plant is connected to the kitchen in some way.

Unfortunately there are no prizes for guessing this one, but the answer will be in my next post.


Curry Leaf said...

Looks great.Love the coffe in a shortbread or anyother cookie.Perfect Aparna.I am clueless about the flower.

Raaga said...

I shall try these... my kitchen is out of bounds as we just shifted home... but when I get back to cooking and baking regularly :)

♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

Yummm... I have made these :) And it's on my blog too! :)

Divya Kudua said...

Coffee and chocolate does sound like an irresistible combo:)Haven't tried making shortbreads yet,this recipe is quite simple..and eggless too.Let me see..:)

Anushruti said...

These cookies look awesome!

Happy cook said...

I have no idea what that flowr is.
I love that book, i think i look to it almost in weekley base.
You don't drink coffee, i am addicted to that stuff.
These days thought i am trying to deduce from my usual 6 cups a day.

jayasree said...

Love the comb of coffee and chocolate. It has come out well. Perfect shape.

The flower looks like sankupushpam to me though I haven't seen this color combo.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I love chocolate and coffee together - sounds wonderful!
I am guessing.. some sort of palm? As in hearts of palm maybe? If I am way off, forgive me, we don't have a lot of tropical plants in the Great White North! :)

Cynthia said...

Aarghhh! I never can guess stuff :)

Lauren said...

No clue about the flower, but those cookies look delicious =D.

s said...

hmmm coffee and chocolate, they are made to be together...these are FAB!!

arundati said...

fabulous cookies, i was just looking at your flickr pics... fab creations aparna.

the flower is a cardamom flower.

arundati said...

fabulous cookies, i was just looking at your flickr pics... fab creations aparna.

the flower is a cardamom flower.

Ivy said...

I don't know what that flower is but the shortbread squares sound wonderful.

Tejal said...

The recipe looks wonderful..whenever i get the guts to bake, your blog is going to be my cookbook.

The plant kinda looks like a cardamom plant..I'm judging it by the tiny pod I can see..I'll find out in your next post..

sra said...

I could do with one of these right now, and just when I think I've beaten cravings too!

The Cooking Ninja said...

ooh...they look delicious. Definitely with milk. :) I must make these.

Palidor said...

Wow! What awesome shortbread! Coffee and chocolate go so well together.

♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

Thanks for the mention A!! I loved them! So did my family!

All you guys out there, try them, they are fab!

And the flower- It;s a cardamom flower :)

kavita Naik/Parxencar said...

IF I am not mistaken, is it called as Devkalmo( in konkani), In goa im my garden we had a same type of plant, but the flowers on it where yellow n red.

farida said...

These look so good.I am on a short term self-imposed diet which won't last long (as usual) and will try to make these after I am done:)

Superchef said...

aarrgh!! no idea about the flower..im kinda bad at this game!

Love those shortbread squares. I had sort of bookmarked them when i had borrowed the book from the library, but never managed to make them before returning it!

Simran said...

Coffee, chocolate, butter - can't think of a better combination. I think I'd make them with dark chocolate though.

Indhu said...

love coffee... love cookies.. I love the perfect shape of these cookies :)

Soma said...

Coffee & Chocolate is something which i will never tire of, & my DD is sitting beside me & lolling her tongue at these:-)

is that a date palm flower?

Pavithra said...

Looks so so so yumm

Mriganayani said...

Aparna - looks sooooooo good - and I love that glass of milk in the background. One big bite of this and a gulp of that - wow - heaven!

Lien said...

A wonderful combination coffee and chocolate. They look very taste. I'd like a few (sorry one wouldn't be enough) with a nice cappuccino right now.
No clue about the flower.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Those are calling my name Aparna. You know that ! How did you guess I was here? Gorgeous & so neat. I'd love to make them. As I've said befopre, can see loads of butter & sugah creeping into your blog...& I love it!! BTW, I use a 100gms whenever a recipe calls for 113 (or even 125 at times). Gives me some personal satsifaction...he he! Your pictures are lovely too!!

sunita said...

I don't drink coffeee, but don't mind it in baked goods, so i'm actually loving those squares. And it's got chocolate too, i can never say 'no' to that :-)

Miri said...

Thats exactly the way I like my coffee too, on the rare days I drink it....Hubby of course terms it "payasam'!

Thats a very inviting shortbread and I think I'm going to make this tomorrow evening to take for my niece.


Bong Mom said...

Those squares look great, if your hubby is traveling to this side of the world you know what to send us right ;-)

Manggy said...

The intricacies of cross-cultural differences! I always cut up my butter to fit the recipe (or scale everything else down appropriately if I don't have enough butter), but it looks like everything worked out for you :)

Aparna said...

Ok, first things first! Arundati, Tejal and Ria got it right. That is indeed the flower of the cardamom plant.
I never knew till I saw one for the first time last month.

You're shifting houses, A? Wait for you to inaugurate your new kitchen. :)

Saw them, Ria. Thanks.

Try them, Divya. They're not difficult to make.

6 cups of coffee F, wow! Actually, I can drink that much of tea but don't. :)

That's ok, Natashya. I live here and didn't know it myself!

Sra, maybe I'll bring some for you later in the year. :)

They're good with dark chocolate, Simran. I used milk chocolate for Akshaya.

I know Deeba. Thought of you when I posted these. :)
Butter and sugar are the bane of my baking life! :(
True, 100gm feels good!!!

Neither can I, Sunita. The chocolate I mean.:)

Let me know how you liked them, Miri.

I do, I do. Unfortunately it wasn't in that direction, Sangeeta.

Cross cultural intricacies have made me push that enevelop quite far, Mark. ;)

Cham said...

I love coffee flavor, nice click , I made shortbread for ur event will be posting today!

Julia @ Mélanger said...

These look so delicious. I have coffee with me right now and this would be perfect to enjoy along side that cup. I am actually quite a fan of coffee and chocolate together. So I think I could be a big fan of these cookies. I actually made some cardamom and coffee macarons a few months back - they were delicious. Coffee seems to be so versatile!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I saw these on SK and wanted to make them immediately! I've been recommending it to all, though I haven't tried it yet!! You've just re-inforced the want to make these! Got a few days holiday, I'll make them soon!!

P.S - I need your addy, for the mail!