Tuesday, August 31, 2010

{TWD} Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies


Although I don't drink coffee - the caffeine doesn't agree with me - I love its flavor. In fact, coffee is my very favorite ice cream variety, and when it's paired with chocolate, so much the better. So this week's Tuesdays With Dorie confection, Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, seemingly had my name written all over it!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- Donna of Life’s Too Short Not to Eat Dessert First picked Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies on page 125 of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home to Yours. You can also find the recipe on Donna's post.

- Shortbread is one of my favorite types of cookies. We have a family stand-by recipe, from Sheila Lukins' Around the World Cookbook. It consists of butter and powdered sugar and little else. I could eat it by the pound.

- I made half recipe. I was pretty sure that despite all the chilling in the world my cookies would spread, so to avoid that outcome, rather than cutting the dough into squares, I pressed it into a 6" springform pan.

- I wanted to experience this recipe just as Dorie intended it, so I followed it to a "T"... well, I did darker chocolate than specified, but otherwise, no substitutions.

- There was a bag of Trader Joe's Organic Powdered Sugar in my baking drawer, so that's what I put in these cookies.

- I scored the dough in wedges before putting it in the oven, then cut it immediately after I pulled it out.


the verdict:

This recipe had all the things that I love: coffee flavor, dark chocolate, butter and sugar. And it's shortbread. I thought I'd love the cookies, I planned to love them, I expected to love them. But in the end, I just did not love them. There was something odd about the combination of the espresso and the powdered sugar in my cookies that was not right. The cookies were bitter and the powdered sugar taste really stood out in an almost artificially sweet way.

I've read reviews from some of the other bakers, and they loved the cookies, so I'm going to assume it was user error, or else I'll blame the Trader Joe's sugar. At any rate, now I'm craving good shortbread!

11 comments:

Di said...

Sorry to hear that you didn't like these as much as you expected to. My cookies had a slightly bitter edge from the espresso, but not in a bad way.

Donna said...

I know what you mean about the slightly odd taste - the first cookie I tried was not as good as I expected. However, I tried another one (well - more like another dozen!) the next day and I must say they improve with aging. I think the flavors need a bit of time to mellow. I love the wedged shortbread - as you did it - I considered that, but ultimately just did the squares. Thanks for baking my choice this week, even if it wasn't a taste sensation for you. I always feel that if I don't like the outcome all that much, that I will be able to avoid those calories in the future. Alas, I find I like more of these than not!

bellini valli said...

Shortbread improves with age so I hope that this was the case and they were everything you hoped for.

Kayte said...

Wow...no substitutions...is this really NANCY posting this???? Just kidding...it is always amazing to tune in each week and see what your creative mind subbed in a recipe, I will say. Love the round shape of this in the springform pan...they look just wonderful.

natalia said...

Ciao Nancy, I'm sorry they did not work for you !!!

Nichi said...

Yup blame TJs! They sure do look pretty tho!

Cathy said...

See, I was thinking that the problem had to be the powdered sugar (I think this was the first cookie recipe of any kind I've baked that called for it) but it sounds like you have shortbread recipes with powdered sugar that you love, so that can't be it. I am sorry that you didn't love these - that is always disappointing for me when I am really excited about a recipe (but with Dorie things seems to more than balance out with recipes that I don't think I will like, but do!) Your cookies look beautiful as always, of course - I love the way they look cut in wedges from the pan!

Jules Someone said...

I wonder if the cookies weren't so successful because they look thicker than the recipe called for? Grasping here....

Jeannette said...

I noticed that the cookies weren't that great right out of the oven but MUCH better the next day.

Your shortbread looks so good! I love how you cut it up to look like traditional shortbread!

Barbara said...

I loved this recipe too, Nancy. I copied it and am going to make it for a coffee I'm giving soon. I sure hope I don't feel the same way about them when I'm done!!!

TeaLady said...

What a shame that you didn't like the cookie after all the expectations. Hate when that happens. Do love the shape you made yours in. Have to try them 'your' way.

Maybe you need to make them again the Nancy way - NOT following the recipe to a "t". :)