My recipe for Nutella Dipped Espresso Shortbread Cookies was featured on Boston.com last month and with all of the craziness of the holidays, I forgot to share it here. These are so simple to make and require only a couple of ingredients; butter, flour, salt, sugar, instant espresso powder and rice flour. The cookies are then cut into delicate little sticks and then dunked in a warm mixture of Nutella and Bittersweet Chocolate and finished with a dusting of sea salt. The results are a cookie you can't help but eat a couple of, that salty-sweet combination paired with a crispy texture make them an addicting treat.
A quick note about the ingredients: I created this recipe based on my research of shortbread cookies and found that rice flour is what gives shortbread cookies that pleasingly sandy texture, so I was sure to include that. Rice flour, if you haven't used it before, can be found at Whole Foods, although you'll pay handsomely for it. A cheaper solution is to make your own by pulverizing rice in a clean coffee grinder until it is powdery. At that point, I like to take the extra step of running the powder through a fine mesh strainer to make sure any larger bits that didn't get ground up well enough don't make it into to the cookies.
I made several batches of these over the holidays, mostly for clients, but some for myself too! And while they make a perfect holiday cookie, I think they also make a perfect anytime snack, especially when you consider how easy they are to make and how fun they are to eat. Paired with a hot cup of coffee, it's enough to make for a very happy afternoon.
Nutella Dipped Espresso Shortbread Cookies with Sea Salt
Makes 2 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup rice flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, flour and sugar until it starts to come together. Add the espresso powder and salt and continue to mix until a dough is formed. With wet fingertips, press the cookie batter into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Cool the cookies a bit and then gently remove from pan. While they are still slightly warm, cut them into 3 inch sticks and place onto a cookie sheet. Bake again for another 5-10 minutes or until the edges and bottoms are golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
For the Nutella:
½ cup Nutella
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 TBS milk
1 TBS Confectioner’s sugar
Sea Salt for sprinkling
Over a double boiler, combine the Nutella, chocolate chips, milk and Confectioner’s sugar. Continuously stir until all of the chocolate melts.
Dip one end of the cooled cookies into the warm Nutella mixture and then sprinkle with sea salt. Place onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely. These can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple of days.