Sunday, March 2, 2014

Shortbread Cookies

I love cookies.  I love cookies so much that each and every morning when my alarm goes off, I shuffle to the kitchen for my morning cup of coffee but never take the first sip before stuffing a cookie into my mouth.  I thought I was the only one who loved shortbread cookies, because great shortbread cookies are so hard to find. 

Whenever I visit a cookie bakery, I find chocolate chip, white chocolate chip, chocolate-chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar and snickerdoodle....but shortbread cookies are nowhere in sight.  I believed that more bakeries would bake them if more people liked them, but after I began making them, I found that most people are like me and love these crispy, buttery gems. 

I still don't understand why great shortbread cookies are so hard to find, but with this quick and easy recipe, you can always find them in my kitchen.

§     3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
§     1/4 teaspoon salt
§     3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
§     1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
§     1 teaspoon vanilla
§     6 to 7 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Add the flour and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add in the butter and vanilla. Pulse together just until the dough is formed.

Dump dough onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes or freeze for up to a month.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the cookie sheet, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool until room temperature.  When the coo0kies are completely cooled, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Put half of the chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl or mug.  I like to use a glass mug so I can dip my cookies into the chocolate.  If you don't have one, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl and transfer to a glass for dipping.  Microwave on high power for 30 seconds.  Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted.  To temper the warm chocolate, add the remaining finely chopped chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth.  The stirring makes the chocolate glossier.

Drizzle or dip 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.
Shortbread Cookies store well at room temperature in an air tight container.  For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to ShortbreadCookies. Enjoy!

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