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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chocolate, Orange, Cardamom, Espresso Shortbread Cookies

Our great friends Alina and Aaron are expecting a baby boy any day. There is nothing I can offer them in terms of comforting words or knowledge.  What I can do is bake and cook for them!  So for the baby shower, we sent a Chicago Cubs onesie (nothing like laying the seed when they are young!) and a big batch of cookies.  Seems pretty straight forward; but the story has a funny ending, which I'll get to in moment.

Baby showers are usually elegant events held in the afternoon with lite fare, so I was striving for something graceful, refined and tasty- but not overpowering.  This cookie is exactly perfect for the occasion! Honestly, you really can't go wrong with shortbread, ever.  Add in the delicate flavors of cardamom and orange with the hint of chocolate and's a total winner.  I know it sounds like a lot of flavors in one cookie, but each ingredient is used in sight moderation. 

This is super simple to put together and you can make the dough ahead of let it sit in the fridge for a few days even.  Or you can bake them, then freeze the cookies and take them out a few hours ahead of time to defrost.  Which brings me to the funny part of the story.  So I sent the cookies and the onesie, they received the onesie but not the cookies.  Hmm.  The box arrived at a friends house where the festivities were to take place the morning before the party. The friend claims the cookies froze in the cold weather while sitting in the box on her porch for the day ... and were unusable.  Now, there are two theory's here- she ate them all herself, or the dog ate them.  Shortbread cookies CAN be unbelievably addicting, but 'the friend' is so tiny- I don't think she could eat them all.  And if she did- then I think she is in the wrong business and should be entering the next hot dog eating contest!

We may never know exactly what happened to the cookies that day, but I will make another batch and send them again. You should make a batch too, just don't send them anywhere to ensure fat and happy eating of the cookies.

Chocolate, Orange, Cardamom, Espresso Shortbread Cookies
2 cups flour
2 sticks of butter (1 cup), cut into pieces;  slightly softened - but not to room temperature
3/4 cup powder sugar
1 tsp salt

1 tbls Cocoa powder
2 cardamom pods, crushed/zested (or ground cardamom)
orange zest (from 1/2 orange)
1 tsp finely ground espresso or coffee beans

Combine all ingredients in your stand mixer bowl, sifting in the flour and cocoa powder, mix on medium to combine.  The dough will be dry at first, but will finally come together, have patience.  It will seem crumbly, but you can help it together with a quick kneading, if needed.  The dough can be mixed by hand as well if needed. 

Roll out to desired thickness, I went for about 1/4- 1/2". If the dough is to warm, you may need to place the dough in the fridge for about an hour before rolling out.  Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sparsely sprinkle cookies with turbinado or raw sugar and cocoa (optional).  Cook at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the edges just begin to lightly brown. Cool on cookie racks.

1 comment:

  1. LOL!! I forwarded this blog to Carrie, Cindy, and Emily - the mystery MUST be solved!!! Add you know Aaron and I would LOVE a batch all for ourselves (I mean... for our soon-to -arrive Alexander...)! You are the greatest M! HUGS! A & A :)



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