Have you had a shortbread cookie? It really is something that we rarely see these days. I guess we should consider it an old fashioned cookie. We need to bring these back into the mainstream, into the 21st century. I love the texture and taste of these cookies and I know you will too. A shortbread cookie is made much like a regular cookie but it is more of a dough. It has plenty of sugar so it is sweet. The dough makes for a super crunchy cookie. I made these cookie two ways: I dipped them into white and dark chocolate and a chocolate dipped topped with M & M’s. Both were great but my hero shot is the Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies for this post.
After writing the above paragraph, my wife and son requested my popcorn so I took a break. Coming back and looking at the first paragraph, I am wondering what the origin of the shortbread cookie is. The first known printed recipe for a shortbread cookie dates to 1736 from Scotland. It is different than a shortcake which we normally think of with Great Britain. The difference is that the shortcake has a leavening agent. So think of it more as a biscuit which makes sense. The Brits needed something to go with their tea. Somewhere along the line, some smart person decided they wanted something sweeter to go with their tea. And now we have the shortbread cookie. I think I might have just written history. Quick, go check wikipedia and see if they credit me.
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don't trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.
- Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.
The dough on the counter, rolled out and cookies being cut.
The cookies pre-bake and post-bake.
Dipping the shortbread cookie into the chocolate.
The chocolate dipped shortbread cookies.