Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bites
Flaky bites of shortbread that are barely crisp on the outside, then melt in your mouth with chocolate and just a hint of coffee flavor. Not so much coffee as to overpower each bite, but the right amount to bring out the flavor of the chocolate and the aroma of the espresso. I've made a handful of desserts with espresso this past year, and I liked all of them. However, this is my favorite and it is the first one that even the non-coffee-lovers in my life enjoyed.
While this is not a traditional shortbread, it does have much of the same texture in the end. I prefer brown sugar over almost all other baking sugars and I can not resist using it here. The egg helps keep the bites a bit more moist than other versions and (especially with the gluten free flours) it helps hold them together beautifully.
Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bites - Gluten Free or Not
Yield: 24 - 48 pieces, depending on size of pieces
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice flour *
3/4 cup tapioca starch *
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum *
1 teaspoon espresso powder, (I've used both regular and decaf without noticing a difference in taste.)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips, I used a dark chocolate, but semi-sweet or milk would work as well
* if you are not in need of a GF recipe, simply substitute 1 1/2 cups of AP flour for the items marked with an *
Combine the butter and the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat again. Stir together the dry ingredients and then add to the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for at least half an hour and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9x13 pan or a large baking sheet with parchment. Scoop the dough onto the parchment and then place another sheet of parchment on top. The dough will be very sticky, so you will need that second sheet on top to spread the dough across the pan with your hands. Spread it out thinly, less than 1/2" thick, or approximately the thickness of the chocolate chips.
Remove the top sheet of parchment and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean with crumbs. Let the shortbread rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before using the parchment to carefully lift it out of the pan. Let it cool on the counter or on a cooling rack for another 10 minutes before slicing it into bite size pieces. Do not let it cool for too long if you want it to cut smoothly. I used a pizza cutter to slice it cleanly into 1" pieces.
Store in an airtight container for soft bites of shortbread and in a not quite airtight container if you prefer the shortbread to be more crisp. Enjoy!
Click here for printable recipe
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