Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Stars

I love coffee, I also love coffee flavored foods so I decided that I wanted to make some sort of coffee cookie this Christmas. This recipe is a short bread cookie, flavored with instant espresso to give it a real rich, fragrant coffee flavor. It's not super sweet all by itself, thats why I decided to dip them in semi-sweet chocolate; to play up the sweet factor and add some visual interest. This cookie is great with a tall glass of milk or if your feeling adventurous maybe some Baileys...mmmm. 

I didn't take my usual bit of step-by-step photos because my sister and I were in full cookie baking speed that day. We were banging out cookies left and right and I kinda forgot to snap some photos along the way. I did get a few after the dough was made though. It's a fairly simple recipe, only out of the ordinary ingredient would be the instant espresso. I thought this might be hard to find, but my local supermarket carried it. To make the cookies you mix the dry ingredient together in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixer till light and fluffy. Then add in the vanilla. While mixer is on low add in the dry mixture gradually till well combined. Then you'll take your dough, wrap it in plastic wrap, and stick it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then you'll roll out your dough on parchment paper to an 1/8" thick. Next use your star cookie cutter (or any shape for that matter) and start cutting out your cookies. Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-9 minutes.

Once your cookies are completely cool, start a double boiler for your chocolate. A double boiler is a pot of boiling water with a bowl over top where you place your chocolate. The purpose of this method is to have the steam from the boiling water below heat the bowl and melt the chocolate without direct heat on the chocolate. You have to watch your chocolate very carefully. If your chocolate becomes lumpy and stiff it is burnt and can not be fixed. So make sure you watch it closely, it should be smooth and liquid like. 

Dip half the star in the melted chocolate. Place on wax paper to harden. You can put the tray in the refrigerator to speed up the solidifying process.

Once the chocolate has hardened you can serve them. If you don't plan on eating them right away, make sure you store them in a cool place, as the chocolate will melt and leave a real mess. 

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Stars
Makes: 32 servings  |  Prep Time: 15 minutes  |  Cook Time: 8-9 minutes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbs espresso powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectionary sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz chocolate

*Recipe adapted from MaryQuiteContraryBakes*
1. In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, espresso powder and salt. In a mixer combine butter and sugar and mix on medium speed till light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry mixture, mixing well between each addition.

2. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take dough out of refrigerator. Put dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to 1/8 in thick with a rolling pin.

4. Use cookie cutter to cut out 32 cookies. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-9 minutes. Let cool on a baking rack.

5. Start a double boiler. Place chocolate in double boiler and stir gently till melted. Quickly dunk half the cookie into the chocolate and lay on a prepared tray with parchment paper to harden. Repeat with all cookies, making sure not to burn the chocolate.

6. Let chocolate solidify. Place tray in refrigerator to speed up the process. Once hardened you can serve these delicious little treats. If you don't plan on eating them right away, make sure you store them in a cool place.