Espresso Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies


Every Christmas I bake dozens of cookies, some old family favorites that my husband grew up with, others that I cherish from my childhood, and a few more that my kids and grandkids request every year. I do get bored baking the same thing year after year however, so I always add in a couple of new cookie recipes to try out. My grandkids love anything with chocolate, icing, or sprinkles, but this year I decided to bake something with the adults in mind. This cookie is buttery as any shortbread should be, with a subtle coffee flavor, and is studded with dark chocolate which makes it extra special. I was rushing around preparing for my entire family to arrive for the holidays, so I never got around to taking photos of these cookies. I can usually stay away from the cookie tray, but these cookies kept calling me back throughout the holidays. We did our best to keep the kids away from these cookies, and all the adults decided they should be on my yearly cookie list. These cookies are from Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking From My Home To Yours. https://www.amazon.com/Baking-Home-Yours-Dorie-Greenspan/dp/B000N640RA

Once the holidays were over, I kept thinking about these cookies and was regretting that I never managed to find the time to share the recipe. As I started to plan my Valentine’s Day recipes however, I decided that these cookies cut out into hearts would be a perfect gift for anyone special. Even though these cookies are very tender, they are stable enough to pack into gift boxes for that special teacher, co-worker, or loved one on Valentine’s Day. I found that these cookies also freeze well because I had to freeze half of them as I just couldn’t stop nibbling on them, and wanted to get them out of sight. I found that these cookies are easiest to handle if the dough is refrigerated for at least three hours before rolling and cutting them.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2017

Espresso Dark Chocolate Hearts

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Boiling Water
  • 2 Sticks (8 Ounces/225 Grams) Unsalted Butter At Room Temperature
  • 2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Of Sea Salt
  • 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 4 Ounces (115 Grams) Dark Chocolate, Finely Chopped (Or 3/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips)

Directions:

  1. Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water, stirring to mix thoroughly.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl, and beat at medium speed with an electric hand mixer until light, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla, coffee, and salt and mix until blended.
  4. Slowly add the flour, mixing on low speed just until the flour is incorporated into the butter mixture. (Do not over mix as you want to keep the cookies tender.)
  5. Stir in the choclate.
  6. Shape the cookie dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours, or overnight.
  7. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 325 degrees F., and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Divide the dough in half, and gently knead with your hands to form a disc shape.
  9. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/2-inch thick.
  10. Use cookie cutter of choice to cut out shapes, then place cookies on prepared baking sheets.
  11. Continue to use up all the dough in the same manner.
  12. Bake the cookies for 15 to 16 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom halfway, or until the cookies just begin to color on the bottom.
    Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

Adapted Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan