Thursday, May 19, 2005

Chai Shortbread Cookies

Chai Shortbread Cookies (Adapted from Land O Lakes)

For the dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
scant 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
16 tablespoons (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

For the filling

2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger

For the topping

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

To prepare the dough

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Shape dough into 1" to 1 1/4" balls and place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flatten cookies to about 1 3/4" in diameter. Place cookies into the oven and bake until the cookies are set and lightly golden around the edges, about 10 to 14 minutes. Remove and let cool on baking sheets for 1 minute before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the filling

In a medium bowl, stir together half-and-half and espresso powder. Beat in confectioners' sugar, butter, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger until smooth and creamy. Using a heaping teaspoon, add a dollop of the filling on the bottom-side of half the cookies. Place the bottom-side of another cookie on top of the filling to make a sandwich.

To prepare the topping

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and cocoa. Sift mixture evenly over the top of the sandwiched cookies.

Makes about 28 to 30 sandwich cookies.

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