Shortbreads aren’t the kind of cookies I usually crave. I guess they have their place at the side of a coffee cup, but given the choice, I’ll always opt for good old chocolate chip cookies. So as I was dutifully making these cookies, I was already scheming about who I could gift them to–what unsuspecting friend or coworker would be the “beneficiary” of my “generosity” while unknowingly supporting both my overuse of mental quotation marks and my bake-but-don’t-partake habit?
Well–spoiler alert!–I did give most of these away, but it was a bittersweet parting, because I ended up loving these humble little shortbread tiles.
The original recipe was for an Espresso-Chocolate shortbread cookie, but I’m not an espresso sort of girl, so already half the cookie’s raison d‘être was eliminated. I instead decided to add some warm fall spices to the dough. It started with cinnamon but soon I found myself shaking in big dashes of ginger, allspice, and cloves. In the finished product the spices were pretty subtle, just a little hint of interest that lingered and made you take another bite, and then another, trying to figure out what was tickling your tongue.
For the chocolate I kept it simple: small shards of 70% dark scattered throughout the dough. After an overnight chill in the refrigerator these baked up beautifully sandy and crisp, with small hidden pockets of melted bittersweet chocolate. Were I a coffee drinker I would drink an extra cup after dinner, just to have an excuse to eat more of these perfectly sized tea cookies.
In the end these cookies were perfect little bites that were just as satisfying as the biggest chocolate chip cookie, but in their own quiet way. Donna has the recipe on her aptly name blog, Life’s Too Short Not to Eat Dessert First.