Cocoa, coffee, and cocoa nibs all in a shortbread dough. I'll admit. That concept grabbed me by the neck and made me double take a recipe in the latest Living magazine. Having never worked with cocoa nibs, but having been gifted a bag of cocoa beans, this was an accessible recipe for this country hick!
So here we go! I just hope the wedges hold together. Martha Stewart wanted the short breads cut into bar lengths, but I loved the idea of a little bit of a bite to start out on a little bit of a dessert treat. So I cut long wedges with thin pointy ends ... the nibs made for interesting cutting.
Then, it got hot in the kitchen, so I put the whole project in the fridge and chilled it for the afternoon. The oven went on early in the evening when I didn't need to be present ... and by Red Sox game time, voila!
Rich, but not too sweet. Definite coffee/chocolate mocha flavour. Excellent bitter chocolate crunch in the nibs ... once again, a keeper recipe from Martha Stewart. Try not to eat all the dough, huh?
a Martha Stewart recipe
Whisk together and then set aside:
2 c. all purpose flour
¼ c. Dutch cocoa
½ tsp. Kosher salt
Beat together (5 minutes) until light yellow and fluffy:
1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
Mix together in a small dish and then add to the butter and sugar mix:
2 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. instant expresso coffee flakes
Continue beating the mocha/butter/sugar mix for another minute. Then add the flour mix in two or three additions, mixing to completely incorporate the dry ingredients.
½ c. cocoa nibs ( I used chopped up cocoa beans, husks and all)
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and plop the dough onto the paper.
Pat the dough into a circle or 13 x 9 rectangle. Firm up the edges to form smooth lines all around.
Use a pizza cutter to cut wedges or bars – poke each bar or wedge with a fork.
Refrigerate the whole project for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Pop the cold into the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the shortbreads are set and the edges are just beginning to brown slightly.
Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then gently slide the paper onto a cooling rack to finish.
Cut the wedges/bars and store when they are completely cooled in a closely covered container.