Coffee Date

I love coffee. I drink it black if it’s first thing in the morning, with milk in the afternoon, or with whiskey and whipped cream if it’s any time at all after dusk. My grandmother used to make coffee Jell-o when I was a kid and serve it with a bit of cream poured over the top. It was amazing! I enjoyed coffee ice cream as a favorite flavor throughout childhood, and continue to appreciate it’s subtler effects in flavoring anything chocolate, and even smokey slow cooked meats.

Today, I bring you coffee two ways: a White Chocolate Kahlua Ice Cream Affogato and a Chocolate Espresso Shortbread Cookie. Decadent!

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“Affogato” refers to a coffee-based drink that is typically comprised of a scoop of either ice cream or gelato with hot espresso poured over the top. Because I rarely keep either of these frozen goods in my home, this is not a treat I often enjoy. Fortunately, recent acquisition of an ice cream maker has turned my kitchen into a new terrain of possibilities. I must freeze everything! The mind reels.

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Yes, that is two scoops of ice cream. I couldn’t help myself! I wanted the option of also making an ice cream and cookie sandwich with these chocolate espresso shortbread cookies. I found the recipe at Smitten Kitchen which is a blog I hope you will read if you don’t already.

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White Chocolate Affogato with Chocolate Espresso Shortbread Cookies

White Chocolate Kahlua Ice Cream Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

8 oz. High Quality White Chocolate, chopped

1 C Heavy Cream

2 C Whole Milk

½ C Sugar

1/8 tsp. Sea Salt

5 Large Egg Yolks

½ C Kahlua

Directions:

Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Mix in the heavy cream, remove from heat and set a mesh strainer over the top.

In a separate saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and salt. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, gradually mixing in half of the warm milk. Add warmed yolks to saucepan with rest of the milk and cook over moderate heat, stirring CONSTANTLY with a heatproof utensil until mixture is thick like custard.

Pour custard through strainer into the bowl of white chocolate, add Kahlua and stir until smooth. Put the bowl in an ice bath and stir until cool.

Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

White Chocolate Espresso Cookies Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

1 T Instant Espresso Powder

1 T Boiling Water

2 Sticks (8 oz.) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

2/3 C Powdered Sugar

½ tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

2 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

Dissolve espresso powder in boiling water and set aside to cool to tepid.

Working with a stand mixer or hand mixer in a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla and espresso, then reduce the mixing speed to low and add the flour, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate with a rubber spatula.

Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size Ziploc plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 ½ inch rectangle that’s ¼ inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Put the plastic bag of dough on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.

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