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Slice & Bake Coffee Shortbreads



One thing I really love about European Culture and visiting the Continent is the "Cafe Culture." Cities and towns all over Europe are peppered with small cafes which spill out onto the streets with small tables and stools, filled with people enjoying the sunshine and their favourite drinks.  We have adopted it somewhat here in the UK, in the major cities and urban centres, but to be honest, we don't get enough sunshine for it to be a perpetual thing. I have fond memories of enjoying a lovely hot chocolate in Germany, piled high with whipped cream in a tall glass, sitting on a plate with a crisp biscuit sitting at the edge. 


That never happened back home.  Free cookie with a drink?  Fat chance! If you wanted a cookie (in my experience) you would have to pay for one, except in perhaps the most solubrious of establishments!  Even here in the UK if you order a drink in all but the cheapest tawdry establishments, you will get a free biscuit when you order a hot drink.  Its usually one of those Lotus biscuits (I love them)  wrapped in plastic, just waiting for you to upwrap and dunk.


These shortbread biscuits I am showing you here today would be perfectly at home with a hot drink, or being dunked. They are buttery and crisp and have a lovely short texture!


The original recipe contained only three ingredients . . .  butter, sugar and plain flour. It comes from a book entitled My Grandmother's Kitchen, by contributing Editor Catherine Best. In looking at it I thought that it would be lovely flavoured with coffee and coated in coffee sugar/demerara sugar that comes in the little packets of sugar you see in the coffee shops.


So I adapted the recipe to use a strong coffee essence that I created using instant coffee crystals and hot water.  You simply mix all the ingredients together, shape into a log and then roll the log in demerara sugar crystals. I believe it is called turbinado sugar in North America, or raw sugar.


That is then wrapped tightly and chilled for at least half an hour, but longer is okay. I dare say you could keep the whole roll tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for days, slicing off and baking only as needed.


You could also shape the log into a triangle. I have never been able to accomplish that myself.  A square is as best as I can do.


Once it is well chilled, you cut the sugar covered log into thick slices and then bake them in a slow oven until they are moreishly crisp throughout.  Try to leave a bit of space between them so that they don't touch each other. They spread a tiny tiny bit when they are baking and if they touch each other the edges won't be as crisp.


The end result is a crisp, buttery, short, beautifully flavoured biscuit/cookie with crisp sugar gilded edges that you would be proud to serve with any drink  . . . even milk!


*Slice & Bake Coffee Shortbreads*
Makes 25 - 30

These crisp, short and buttery cookies are completely comfortable with being dunked. Be it in your hot cuppa at tea break, or coffee break or enjoyed with a glass of milk apres school!

175g butter,at room temperature (3/4 cup)
1 tsp strong coffee essence (see below)
90g caster sugar (1/2 cup, superfine)
250g plain flour (1  3/4 cup)
demerara sugar for coating (raw sugar, turbinado)




Cream the butter and sugar together with the coffee essence until light and fluffy. Add the flour, and then using your hands, work it completely in until you have a dough with a smooth consistency. Roll into a sausage shape about 12 inches long, then pat to make either a square or a triangular shape.


Spread an abundant amount of the demerara sugar onto a piece of baking paper. Press each side of the dough log into the sugar to coat. Wrap and chill for half an hour or longer, until very firm. 

Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper.  Cut the log into thick slices and place slightly apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until beginning to turn brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.  

 
To make the coffee essence:
Stir together 2 tsp dry coffee granules and 1 tsp boiling water to give you a thick essence of almost syrup consistency.



I have fallen in love with these cookies, even though I know I really shouldn't be. They are irresistably incredibly moreishly tasty!!!  I think adding coffee flavour to them was genius. (Sorry if it sounds like I am bragging. I really am not.  I just want you to bake them!)  Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
10 Comments
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10 comments:

  1. I bet they are delish Marie..we have always ..well for a long time..had a British shop here..well they took the plunge ..moved and kept the shop/all British fare..food and gifts..plus added a tea room/resto..It's so nice.I am happy for them.I loved my little visit there.. I had tea for 2 and biscuits(cookies..not home made..)..but everything else they have is home made..British breakfast..scones..high tea..

    it's lovely:)

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    1. Oh it does sound lovely Monique! Did they have clotted cream? I remember the first time I flew back to Canada from here, they served scones and clotted cream during the flight. We love our clotted cream! I think these biscuits/cookies would go down well for a special tea party! xo

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  2. These cookies sound wonderful Marie. I love coffee in baked treats. One of my favorite flavors.

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    Replies
    1. Then you will really love these Elaine! They are wonderful. Coffee is one of my favourite baked good flavours also! xo

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  3. I love shortbread! Not sure about the sugar...can you share more? Can I buy it, or can I make it?

    Jane

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jane! Caster sugar is just superfine granulated sugar. You can whirr granulated sugar in a food processor to make it finer. (Its NOT powdered). Demerera sugar is a very coarse granulated sugar, very much unprocessed, darker in colour (unbleached) and granular. I believe in North America it is called Turbinado sugar. Hope this helps! xo

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  4. These were lovely! I had everything in my pantry already, so I made thewm straight away. They are so quick and easy to put together and the smell when they are baking is just wonderful. I already love shortbread and the coffee touch was really tasty. They came out crisp and perfect. It's definitely a keeper.

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    1. Oh Marie, I am doing the happy dance here! I am so pleased that you baked these and that you enjoyed them as much as you have! yay! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. I loved how they smelled when they were baking too! xo

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