Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's Baking: Chocolate-Drizzled Shortbread Cookies


As much as I love making some of my favorite cookie recipes, it's always fun to try something new. On Monday night, I decided to give shortbread cookies a try, and my, oh, my, what a great idea! After baking the cookies and letting them cool, I added a little drizzle of chocolate over top of each one, giving the cookies a subtle chocolate flavor that melded well with the buttery shortbread.

Chocolate-Drizzled Shortbread Cookies (adapted from this Barefoot Contessa recipe)
makes about 56 cookies

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup good-quality chocolate discs (for melting)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
4. Add the flour mixture in batches to the ingredients in the mixer, stirring in between each addition. Once a dough has formed, turn it out onto a floured surface. (I love to work on a floured extra-large cutting board to prevent the entire countertop from getting messy.)
5. Shape the dough into a flat disk, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. (Avoid over-chilling the dough, as it will become harder to work with.)
6. Roll the chilled dough 1/4-inch thick. Use a 2-inch square cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the dough. Place the square cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. (Depending on the size of your cookie sheet, you can get at least 20 cookies per batch. Since they spread very little, you can place the cookies fairly close together on the baking sheet.) Sprinkle each cookie with granulated sugar.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown.
8. Remove from the oven and place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
9. As the cookies cool, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and microwave in 30-second increments, until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir between melting periods with a wooden spoon. Once the chocolate has melted, stir quickly to make the chocolate glossy in appearance.
10. Once the cookies are at room temperature, place them on a baking sheet or flat platter covered with wax paper. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. (You can also dip the cookies in the chocolate, or make whatever pattern you prefer.) Place the baking sheet or platter with the cookies in the fridge until the chocolate has set.
11. Store the cookies in a tightly-lidded container, placing sheets of wax paper between each layer of cookies to prevent them from sticking together. Cookies can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator, but I'm sure they won't last that long!

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