Chinese New Year is going to be on Jan 31st this year. It is 3 weeks away. It is time to get things ready. But you may ask what shortbread cookies and Chinese New Year have anything to do with each other.
During Chinese New Year, people go around to visit relatives and friends. It is the perfect opportunity to spend time together. When you go to visit someone, you can’t go empty handed. You always need to bring a gift with you. Most common gifts are fruits, chocolates, and cookies. The popular gifts in Hong Kong are Ferreo Rocher and Kjeldsens Butter Cookies (I am not sure whether this is still true nowadays, but at least it was when I was living in HK.) And of course, homemade cookies would be even better.
This year, Bryan and I will be in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year. It has been 10 years since I celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. I am looking forward to seeing all my families and friends and showing Bryan everything about Chinese New Year.
I will be bringing these espresso-chocolate shortbread to my relatives. These cookies are buttery and crumbly. The espresso flavors definitely come through, but not overpowering. The espresso and chocolate make great balance and they make the traditional cookies more unique. Did I mention that these cookies are addicting? You really can’t just eat one! Enjoy! Wish you luck in the year of Horse!
Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
60 – 64 cookies
– 1½ tablespoon instant espresso powder
– 1½ tablespoon boiling water
– 3 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
– 3 cups all purpose flour
– 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a small heatproof bowl, add the espresso powder. Pour the boiling water and mix well with a spoon. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar at low speed for 30 seconds. Turn the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is very smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and espresso and beat to combine. With the mixer at low speed, add the flour and mix until just combine. Fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 2-inch-diameter long log. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hour, or for up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F (165˚C). Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment papers.
- Unwrap 1 dough log. Cut log into ¼-inch rounds with a sharp knife. Transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1-inch apart.
- Bake until cookies are slightly golden brown at the bottom and can be easily removed from the baking sheet, about 19 – 22 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks and let cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- If you can’t find mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, you can use chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
- For storage, put the cookies in a tightly sealed container. They can be store up to 3 days.