Saturday, April 21, 2007

Short and Sweet

Back when my Fabulous Aunt was in town and staying at the lovely Victorian bed and breakfast run by my friend, the Innkeeper, the three of us had a lively discussion of possible tasty treats for the Innkeeper to share with her guests.

The Innkeeper expressed a desire to have afternoon tea or evening cocktails on her porch or in the garden when summer guests arrived, and she also talked about breakfasts overlooking the garden. But in talking, we also hit upon a clever idea for welcoming guests: dark chocolate shortbread cookies that represented the inn's name theme.

I knew I could adapt, once again, the recipe for chocolate shortbread cookies that I've used in my Dark Chocolate Seduction Torte as well as in my Truffle Surprise Cookies, so I headed back to the kitchen this week to tinker with the recipe once more.

In the first batch, I used maple sugar and local maple syrup to sweeten the dough and added cinnamon for a warm, homey flavor underneath the decadent dark chocolate taste. For the second batch, I switched to local honey to sweeten the dough, and the added flavor came from a hint of espresso powder.

Both batches turned out very well, with multiple layers of flavor in every crisp, buttery bite. And for the espresso-chocolate shortbread, I added a generous dusting of two cocoas to deepen the chocolate effect.

I packed some up for a Friday visit with the Innkeeper (which fell through, unfortunately), and I sent a number of the morsels off to a few friends in need of a serious chocolate pick-me-up, as well as sharing more cookies with people nearby. The reactions were unanimously encouraging, as you can see:

"You are now officially my favorite person in the world!"

"I can taste every flavor in these... wow!"

"It walks a fine line between seductive darkness and overload!"

"OH MY GOD, these are fantastic! More! More!"

The Innkeeper, the source of that last quote, even sounded ready to head right into the kitchen to bake several dozen on the spot, so I think it's safe to say that we'll be carrying through our idea sometime very soon.

How sweet it is!


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