Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chocolate Espresso Shortbread

Southerners love butter. It's just a fact. We pretend to be healthy but every southern cook knows, if you want something to taste good, you have to use the real thing. Some people swear they can't taste the difference between butter and so-called substitutes. Then again, some people can't tell Coke from Pepsi ;)

Shortbread requires real butter. And lots of it! It's my go-to cookie because it's so versatile. You can add just about any flavor or topping to this buttery, no-too-sweet dessert.

My go-to basic shortbread recipe is similar to Ina Garten's.  

What You'll Need:
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
Pinch of salt
Dash of almond extract (Vanilla works too)

What to Do:
Use a stand mixer to form the dough, creaming the butter and sugar before adding the extract and flour. You can roll the dough out and cut it into fun shapes or you can spread it in a 8x8 pan. If you're cutting out shapes, you'll want to chill the dough first. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

The best part, though, is the topping. I melted dark chocolate and spread it over my cooled shortbread. I dusted the chocolate-coating with cinnamon and espresso powder and cut the shortbread into rectangles for easy snacking. You could also top them with chopped, toasted pecans or hazelnuts.

Be warned. These are highly addictive. You might need to double the recipe.


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