Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TWD - Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies and Oatmeal Spice Shortbread Cookies and Banana Cake w/Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Tuesdays with Dorie is here! Excitement! Flag waving! Okay, maybe no flags. Donna of Life’s Too Short Not to Eat Dessert First is our host this week.

The recipe: Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Dorie also gave us a variation: Oatmeal Spice Shortbreads

I dropped the decorating ball with this batch. My kitchen sizzle was starting to fizzle. I love our baking groups but I also have my own list of "must bake" goodies and rarely do I get to do both. This last week I baked to my hearts content (literally) and learned to cut recipes in half along with freezing extras. Works great!

Dorie's recipe called for bittersweet chocolate. Brainstorm: Use my hidden stash of espresso chocolate along with bittersweet. (I know I am forgetting something.)

All the chocolate was chopped up into little chunks; mixed both shortbread recipes, rolled dough in gallon size Ziploc bags and refrigerated overnight. Took out my handy little kitchen ruler, the basic wood one we had in elementary school, and measured the dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Baked ALL the cookies.

There are oodles of cookies! Waited for the espresso shortbread cookies to cool then took a nibble. Immediately remembered what I was forgetting. I do not enjoy the flavor of coffee. I have coffee one morning, Sunday morning, every week and that cup is loaded with Nestle Hazelnut coffee creamer and 1 1/2 t. sugar. I sip 1/2 of the cup and talk a mile-a-minute for the next 2 hours. Weird ritual, I know, but hubby makes coffee on Sunday morning and I feel bad not having a cup. I have tried suggesting he become a tea sipper but he says all my tea cups are just too little for his fingers . . . funny ha but not funny ha-ha.
The shortbread cookies turned out cute but I guess shortbread cookies are not my thing (my first shortbread cookies). I would like to use some of the cookies in a few cheesecake crusts. I have oodles in quart size freezer bags plus Larry loves the espresso ones with his coffee. Personally, after 1 cookie and my 1/2 cup of coffee, I was dropping everything in sight. Making breakfast, I started cracking an egg open, the egg slipped out of my hand and cracked open between the stove and the counter. Interesting.
Donna, thank you for hosting TWD this week. I liked the oatmeal spice shortbread cookies and I know the cookies will be a part of some fun projects in the near future. To get the recipe, go to Donna's site and buy Dorie's cookbook.

I thought I would also share a banana cake recipe. Not to be confused with banana bread. The recipe originally came from Allrecipes.com but I altered it a smidgen. One of the changes was adding 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Makes for a light and fluffy banana cake.
Banana Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 2 eggs
* 4 ripe bananas, mashed
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
2. Cream together the butter or margarine and the sugar.
3. Add eggs, bananas, flour, soda, salt, nuts, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour batter into the prepared pan.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.) for 30 minutes. Cool and frost cake.
In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream. Frost cake.

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