Shortbread is the first thing I ever made as a young boy and I love coming back to it, either making a very traditional shortbread (what can beat that?) or a flavoured variation.
A bake for anyone
Shortbread is also a very simple thing to make and is a particularly great bake for people who are not confident with their baking, However, it is still a joy for the experienced baker.
For a great coffee flavour, I used my roasted coffee bean butter in the dough in place of standard butter: it gives a phenomenal depth of coffee flavour.
To finish I dipped the shortbreads in a dark chocolate and sprinkled over a few sugar nibs: strong coffee, slight bitterness, creamyness and the touch of sweetness all going on…..
These shortbreads are, however, excellent served plain. Either way, they melt in the mouth without any effort whatsoever.
Coffee butter: a must-have ingredient for coffee lovers
If you love coffee, I cannot urge you enough to make a large batch of coffee butter (my very simple and quick recipe is here). It is made up in moments and will store happily in the fridge for ages.
Alternatively, use a simple coffee essence made with instant coffee: 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules added to just enough hot water to dissolve it will give a good coffee flavour for the amount of dough in this recipe.
No rolling out to do!
This particular version of shortbread does not even require rolling out: you simply shape the dough into a log, thin or fat, depending on what size you want, wrap it in clingfilm and chill until firm.
You then just slice off discs of the dough and bake it.
Rustic or more fancy? Your choice!
I love the rustic way the shortbread looks once baked, but if you want them to look neater, as soon as they come out of the oven, press a circular cutter, just a little smaller than the baked biscuits, over them to trim off the edge. Then remove the trimmings once cool.
Recipe: roasted coffee shortbread biscuits – makes about 30
For the shortbread:
- 60g caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
- 90g soft roasted coffee butter (see recipe here)
- 120g plain flour (or use gluten-free flour)
To finish (optional):
- about 50g melted dark chocolate
- sugar nibs
- a little caster sugar for dusting
(1) Put the butter and sugar in a small bowl and beat for a few moments with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix just until it forms a soft dough, using your hands to gently pat it together. Alternatively, you can pop all the ingredients into a food processer and pulse gently until it forms a dough, taking care not to over-pulse it (which makes the shortbread tough)
(2) Shape into a cylindrical log and wrap it in clingfilm until you are ready to slice and bake. If you want small biscuits, go for a longer, thinner.
(3) Preheat the oven to 150C (fan). Slice discs about 5mm thick and place a little apart on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or a silicon sheet.
(4) Bake for about 12 minutes: you want the edges to have turned a very light golden colour, but no darker. Leave for a few minutes on the trays to cool a bit and have firmed up slightly before carefully placing them onto wire racks to cool: a palette knife is ideal for moving them from the tray to the rack.
Top Tip: don’t move the trimmed shortbreads until they have firmed up, otherwise they might break.
(5) If going for chocolate embellishment, dip the cooled shortbreads in melted chocolate and place on baking parchment. You also can sprinkle nuts, chopped chocolate chunks, sugar nibs etc… on the chocolate before it has set if you want. Alternatively, leave them fairly plain, perhaps with a little dusting of caster sugar.