For me, Christmas always includes hot, steaming cups of coffee – lots of them – especially when there is snow coming down outside and hardly any daylight during Alaska’s long winter. Coffee is best shared, a gift I like to give to friends near and family-members far.

The warmth, the comfort, the dark, fragrant, caffeinated bliss. 

Christmas came a little early for me this year when Lavazza sent me a sample pack of their new line of Italian-made  premium drip coffees to review. I was over the moon excited. Then, to add to the fun, they asked me to develop a recipe to pair with their new coffee. Yes!

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I made buttery, crisp Almond & Orange Shortbread, then dipped each cookie into semisweet chocolate. Once set, they are the most perfect little morsels for dipping straight into your coffee, reminiscent of the flavors of biscotti, but smaller and more delicate.

IMG_8682These cookies are delicious with any of Lavazza’s new premium drip coffees, but my favorite pairing is Gran Selezione Dark Roast, with its intensity and chocolate notes. Another fantastic choice would be the dark and velvety Perfetto Espresso Roast. But honestly, you can’t go wrong. I can fully understand why Lavazza is known as Italy’s favorite coffee. It’s quite superb and will be the coffee we’re drinking and enjoying on Christmas morning this year. Thanks Lavazza!

Disclaimer: Lavazza sent me a sample pack of their new line of drip coffee to review and to create a recipe pairing at no cost to me. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Chocolate-Dipped Almond & Orange Shortbread

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A crisp, buttery Almond & Orange scented shortbread dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. The perfect pairing with a hot cup of coffee.

Yields: 1 dozen cookies

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate

In the bowl of a stand-mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour, salt, and orange zest, and almonds, mixing just until a dough forms, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Cut with a small shortbread cutter, making about a dozen cookies, placing each on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden on the edges and firm. Gently remove cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler. When smooth, dip half of each cooled cookie into the melted chocolate and lay the cookies flat on a sheet of wax paper until set. Enjoy cookies with coffee. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

 

 

 

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