Chocolate-Dipped Espresso Shortbread cookies

22 12 2011

This one of my favorite cookie recipes I like to make at Christmas. I got the recipe out Fine Cooking’s Cookie magazine. They are so delicous and you can use any shape you want.

Here’s the recipe:

1/2 lb (1 cup) of cold unsalted butter, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

10 oz (2 1/4 cups) all purpose flour

2 tbsp. finely ground espresso beans

10 oz (2 1/4 cups) all purpose flour

For the dipping chocolate:

9 oz of semi sweet chocolate

1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), combine the butter, sugar and salt on low speed until the butter combines with the sugar but isn’t perfectly smooth. 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour and ground espresso and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl frequently, until the dough has just about pulled together, about 3 minutes; don’t over mix. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Aim for a uniform thickness to ensure even baking. Cut out shapes, press scraps together and roll out again. If the dough becomes sticky refrigerate briefly. Arrange the cookies on two parchment lined cookie sheets and refrigerate until chilled, at least 20 min. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Position trays on upper and lower thirds of oven. Bake cookies until golden on the bottom and edges and pale to golden on top. This can take 30 min to 1 hour. Rotate the pans halfway through baking to make sure they bake evenly. If the cookies are done before 30 minutes reduce temp to 275 degrees, if they take longer than an hour increase temp to 325 degrees.

Dip the baked cooled cookies.

Lay out a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on a work surface. Put the chocolate and shortening in a small heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate stirring until its smooth. Do not get any water in the chocolate or it will seize. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate. Set the cookies on the prchment and let the chocolate set up at room temperature, about two hours.

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Christmas advent

19 12 2011

Last Christmas Daniela and I along with my sister-in-law and my dear friend Maria decided to take on a project. I say an amazing advent on Pottery Barn and decided we could totally do one ourselves. After sourcing out the supplies on the internet we were able to put them together. If you decide to do this one yourself get a few girls together. It is always cheaper to buy in bigger numbers. All of our children love this calendar and really looked forward to it again this year.

So here it is!

I like to put different things in….candy, maybe a little toy. I also put fun days in, one of which is usually a miss school and go do something fun day. It is all about the memories….:). I love Christmas…..





My first gingerbread house

19 12 2011

I’ve been trying to find the time to post for Christmas but the holidays have bee n crazy.  I made my first gingerbread house from scratch this year.  I have only made one before in my life and it was when I was much younger and I did it with my grandma.  She died a number of years ago and I always think of her this time of year.  So I decided to take a some of my memories and keep them well.  Baking with her is what we did she.  There wasn`t anything that she couldn`t do.  Seriously she was a amazing……I wish I had photos to show all of you.  Taking this on this year I thought I was ready to show my nieces all my major skills.  That didn`t work out so well, thought I would finish two houses in one night….not possible.  Gingerbread takes time….for sure.  I hard time with making and rolling out the dough.  I doubled the batch and it didn`t turn out as smooth as I hoped apparently my mixer does not have enough horse power to handle that much dough.  My friend told my it made it more rustic….I guess it did….she is the sweetest.  So here it is…..la gingerbread house.

I went to my absolute most favorite store when it  comes to this stuff…. Scoop n Save.  I  bought the chocolat rocks for the path and rock candy for the chimney.  I also grabbed the snazzy plastic reindeer and trees.

Ok…I know they are bit kitschy but I love them and how great would these trees and deer be in a snow globe DIY.  They deer was 50 cents and the trees were 35 cents. CHEAP.

I cut out the window openings then crushed up some Kerr clear hard candies for the windows. Baked at 350 degrees till the melted.  I love how they just look like frosted windows.

He looks so serious, eh.  Candy is serious business.  Mike (my husband) asked informed me that mushroom do not grow in the winter time.  I told him that coconut covered mushrooms grow in magical gingerbread forest where plastic reindeer live……duh.

Next year I am not playing around.  I am going to work on piping skills and my nieces are going to have some serious memories that they will be able to pass on….and my sons.  Their future wives will be so impressed!








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