December 6, 2011

Cookie Week: Shortbread Cookies

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If you could eat one dessert every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I was asked this question recently at a sugar workshop and the first thing that popped into my head was "anything shortbread". By itself, covered in chocolate, used as a crust, or with a bunch of fruit on top, there is just nothing better than a butter cookie, wouldn't you agree?

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My family has always been big on baking cookies for the Christmas season. Our annual favorites include Peanut Butter Balls (similar to Buckeyes), Coconut Macaroons, and the always-famous Heart-Attack Sugar Cookies. This year, however, I'd like to throw one of my new favorites into the mix: Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies. Just incase there wasn't already enough butter in our cookie lineup... :)

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These cookies are not only crazy-delicious but also very easy to make. I also love that you could decorate these with different colors and toppings depending on when or for what holiday you make them (I'm thinking heart-shaped cookies with pink sprinkles for Valentine's)! Try these out for Christmas this year and make sure to share your version with me; I always love new ways to make great cookies.

Tis' the season, eat some butter!

Love, Le Man and Wife

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Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Ina Garten

Makes about 24 cookies

3 sticks (3/4 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together sugar and butter in a stand mixer until just combined, then mix in vanilla. Whisk flour and salt together in a separate bowl and add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until ingredients start to form a solid dough. Take out of bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll dough into a 1/2-inch thick log. Using a sharp knife, cut dough on the bias into 1-inch wide rectangles. Depending on how tall you want your cookies, can cut down the length and reshape dough into another log to recut, or just keep height the same (mine were about 3 inches tall). Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges begin to brown (if you taste one, they will also be slightly crispy when done).

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Once cookies are completely cooled, place 4 ounces of chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 30-second increments until just melted. Add the rest of the chocolate to the bowl and stir together at room temperature until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth. Continue to stir quickly to allow the chocolate to cool and become glossy.

Dunk half of each cookie into the chocolate and sprinkle with your favorite topping*. Place on a piece of wax paper until completely cooled.

*We used sprinkles, turbinado sugar, and crushed pretzels. Feel free to look around in your pantry and get creative!

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7 comments:

  1. In total agreement - shortbread is the best.

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  2. These are so fun! Definitely addin' them to my Christmas goodie plates.

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  3. You are awesome, i am going on a baking frenzy for Christmas... these will be perfect!

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  4. These look awesome. I had really bad luck with shortbread the last time I tried to make it, but I might try these because they look so cute!

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  5. These would be GREAT packaged as a gift for neighbors. Pinning it! :D Thanks!

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  6. Wife: great post!
    Le Man: stunning photos, fine sir.

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