Hello from my not as tiny kitchen! So, I’ve been on like, a 6 month hiatus from this thing and it’s been driving me crazy. So much has happened since last we met and I’m happy as all get out that I’m getting back into the baking game. Eric and I bought a house, moved into and worked on said house and I’m now 31 weeks pregnant! It’s only about 9 weeks until we meet our little miss and we are so excited we can’t stand it.
Also, I’m eating ice cream like every day. Because I can. 🙂
It occured to me that with not working on the website for so long, I had two options. I could let it go and it could be one of those things that I did for a while and then I stopped, or I could pick it back up and keep working at my being a better baker, photographer and writer.
I chose vodka. And Chaka Khan. Wait. No. That’s Bridget Jones. I chose to pick it back up. We’ve been watching a lot, and I do mean a lot, of Great British Baking Show. If you’ve never seen it, you must. You just must. It’s amazing. Anyway, they like their shortbread on that show and after a while I guess I got all inspired. Now, I know that shortbread is usually simple and very specific. Buttery. Crumbly. Light. No frills.
Well what can I say? Sometimes a girl likes frills. So here we go!
Chocolate dipped Shortbread Cookies. They are melty, delicious and super fun for showers, parties or to make and eat a lot of when you have that sugar craving that you just can’t ignore. Since I’ve never made these before, we’re going old school and busting out the step by step of it all today.
Let’s do it to it.
Start with butter and powdered sugar. Powdered sugar??? Yes. Powdered sugar. You guys. These are different. Thus a different base is needed. I used the paddle attachment on my standing mixer and creamed them together until the mixture was smooth as silk. You can absolutely do this with a regular electric mixer, but my beaters were falling out of the mixer, hence the different bowls, and honestly, busting out Carmelita to do this job was just…way easier. When that is fluffy goodness, add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Pour in all the flour (you aren’t going to add it a little at a time?? The madness of it all! What have these pregnancy hormones done to you??).
Yes. All the flour and salt. Add it all. Then beat until the flour juuuuuuust disappears. You don’t want to overmix this baby.
Stir in your chocolate chips and you have your shortbread dough! The recipe calls for just mini chips, but you guys know I love a little texture on my tongue, so I did some mini and some regular. You do you. I also used a mix of dark and semi-sweet, which I think is nice because it balances the sweet, buttery base of the cookie. Again, you do whatever you like. White chocolate. Milk chocolate if you are a communist, whatever. 🙂
It’s not really forbidden. I mean, there isn’t even any egg in it! You can just eat it! But you shouldn’t. Because we are going to make scrumptious things with it.
Ok. So we have our dough, now we obviously bake it right?
It’s kind of like a pie crust. You work your pie crust and your fat content, lard, butter, shortening whatever, has become warm as you worked and mixed it. You have to chill it and let the butter solidify again before you can cut and bake it. Otherwise, they will spread too much and the flavors will not be as pronounced. You also risk ruining the texture if you bake them before chilling. So we have to chill.
To do this, we put all the dough in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Lay the bag on a baking sheet and roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch all the way around. I think mine ended up between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. As long as it is the same thickness all around, you should be good in that range.
It might take a minute to get the dough the same thickness all the way around, but just keep working with your rolling pin and you’ll get it. Ok. Now place the baking sheet with the bag of dough in the fridge for 2 hours. Hypothetically you could pop it out around 90 minutes, but 2 hours is better. Especially if it’s a hot day and you are a fresh air freak so you insist on having windows open and your attic fan running full blast in middle of June in the midwest.
It’s just the best.
Anyway, 2 hours is enough time to go kick it on a patio and grab a cocktail or have some brunch with friends…whatever. When you come back, you have to remove the dough from the bag. Do this carefully so you don’t have to re-roll it. I cut around the perimeter of the bag and flipped it out onto a cutting board. It worked pretty well.
Cut them however you want. I got a little weird and broke out a ruler to try and get even square-ish type cookies, but you know. It didn’t. Really. Work…you could totally just use a cookie cutter and do something cute. It doesn’t matter what shape they are. All shapes taste delightful.
After cutting, transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes.
Mmmmm…chocolatey-chippy goodness…now we can eat them right??
So. Freaking. Wrong. You are so impatient. These are super fragile you guys. I had multiple casualties as I was trying to get from this step to the end of the cookies.
I mean, Eric was cool with it. He got to eat the bodies of the fallen.
But seriously. You gotta be patient and very careful. Move the entire baking sheet carefully to a wire cooling rack. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes before moving them from the baking sheet to the rack to finish cooling. They need to cool completely before the chocolate dipping portion of the process or it’ll be a hot mess. Literally.
Once they are cool, melt your dark chocolate morsels in 30 second bursts in the microwave stirring between bursts. Then coat the cookies in the melted chocolate. In an effort to not lose too many cookies to the horrors of my clumsiness, I spooned the chocolate onto the cookie and spread it out that way rather than picking up the cookie and dipping it into the chocolate. It worked out well for me. While they were still wet, I hit ’em with some sprinkles. Pop them back in the fridge to set the chocolate.
Like I said, frills. 🙂
Is it a process? Yes. Are they a smidge persnickety? Yes. Did I just use persnickety in a sentence here? You betcha. But trust me, they are so worth it. 🙂
Nosh on, friends.
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
Yield: 16 cookies if you don’t break any like I did Prep: 10-15 minutes plus 2 hours chill time Bake: 18-20 minutes
1 cup unsalted stick butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (chips and chunks of any variety)
6 oz dark chocolate morsels for melting
- Cream together butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Add vanilla and beat to combine.
- Mix in all flour and salt. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Place dough in a gallon sized plastic bag and roll out to between 1/2 and 1/4 inch thick all the way around.
- Chill for 2 hours.
- Remove from fridge and cut out of plastic bag. Cut dough to desired shape and bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes.
- Let cool on baking sheet placed on wire rack for 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to continue cooling. Let cool completely before continuing.
- Melt 6 oz chocolate by heating in microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each burst. Do this until chocolate is smooth and shiny.
- Spoon chocolate over half a cookie and carefully spread to cover as much of the shortbread as desired. While wet, add sprinkles.
- Place entire sheet of cookies into the fridge to set the chocolate.