Trying things I Pin on Pinterest-Espresso Cardamom Shortbread

Shortbread is probably my favorite cookie. I don’t make them often, but when I do I tend to eat the entire batch myself.  A few weeks ago in my This and That I mentioned this Espresso and Cardamom Shortbread by Sweet and Savoury Pursuits.

From my Chocolate+Turkish Coffee Cookies to my Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Ice Cream.   you can tell that putting coffee into sweet treats is one of my favorite flavor combinations. So when I saw this shortbread on Pinterest I knew I had to try it.

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It did not disappoint! Because I very rarely make shortbread, I did not make any adjustments to the recipe and followed it to the letter.

First you dissolve instant espresso in vanilla extract. This was a totally new concept to me! At first I was skeptical that the instant espresso would dissolve in such a small amount of liquid, but it totally worked! The aroma of the vanilla and espresso was heavenly. Then you cream together butter, confectioner’s sugar and the espresso/vanilla in an electric mixer. Even if the shortbread had not turned out well, I am glad I tried this recipe because the combo above, with a different butter:sugar ratio, would be the PERFECT espresso frosting.

After everything is well mixed, you add your dry ingredients that you mixed together in a separate bowl. This results in thick, not quite crumbly dough. The instructions then say to press the dough evenly into a greased 9×13 pan. This was the only issue I had with the recipe, I personally didn’t feel there was enough dough to evenly spread in such a large pan. So I spread it as far as I could without sacrificing thickness. Then you score our your bars.

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After scoring and dotting your bars,  you bake at 325°F for 30 minutes, rotating once. After I pulled these guys out of the oven, I had to try them. The espresso and cardamom flavors are subtle, resulting in a rich, toasty flavor that my mom couldn’t quite pinpoint, but really enjoyed. She described it as a caramel. I’ll agree that the espresso lends a warm rich flavor that combined with the buttery shortbread does come across as a little caramel-like. Which we loved.

I have had about 6 with my morning coffee this a.m.  They just go so well dunked in my morning joe! All in all, I really enjoyed this shortbread, the flavor is warm and comforting, and these cookies were a cinch to put together.

For the recipe be sure to hop over to Sweet and Savoury Pursuits and give it a go!

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Almond Scented Marshmallows+Shortbread S’mores.

According to the internet, s’mores are the quintessential summer snack. I associate them with fall. Probably because I think s’mores=bonfire=fall.

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I cannot remember the last time I made a true s’more, over an open flame, around a campfire with friends. It was probably in high school. S’more latte? Yes. S’more ice cream? Yes. A MoonPie microwaved until gooey? Yes. (1. A favorite college snack, I have not had one in my adult life. Maybe it is time.)

Here’s the thing, the reason why I have not had a s’more in a hot minute. Marshmallows. My feelings towards them are lukewarm at best. They are not something I really ever thought about making at home.Now flash back to me sitting in my dorm eating microwaved MoonPies reading food blogs like the sad fascinating creature I was. I saw a few recipes for homemade marshmallows. I wrote them off as far too difficult, too much work with little reward.

Okay, back to 2017. I am an adult and now I want a s’more. If I am going to have a s’more it will be with dark chocolate and homemade marshmallow. I want it served on the grand daddy of all cookies, shortbread. I dug through my memories (i.e. the internet) and found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs howsweeteats.

Where she uses coconut, I am more of an almond kind of girl. A little tweak of the recipe, substituting one teaspoon of almond extract and one teaspoon of vanilla for her two teaspoons of coconut and omitting the vanilla bean paste resulted in the marshmallow of my dreams.

Another plus, these marshmallows were SO easy to make. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry, and was able to whip them up in 20 minutes, minus the wait time for the marshmallows to set.

The shortbread was also quick. Another recipe exclusively using pantry ingredients, this dessert, while it needs planning, is one that can be made sans trip to the store. I used this recipe from epicurious.

Topping it all off, was some of my favorite dark chocolate. The best thing about this dessert is that you can totally customize it. Use milk chocolate, or whatever sounds good to you. Store bought shortbread would be lovely. Or maybe a chocolate chip cookie! Or the traditional graham. Or a brownie. But definitely try out the marshmallow recipe.

 

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