Chocolate Shortbread :: Recipe

I love these simple shortbread cookies–very English, not overly sweet, and maybe a tad bit addictive. I don’t make them often (the recipe is from my ancient Crabtree and Evelyn Cookbook), but when I do the leftovers are few, and the smiles and thank yous are many. These store very well in airtight containers, if you have that kind of self control. And the whole thing can be thrown into a food processor and mixed up in a instant, I’ve been told. Makes about two dozen, or more if you’re using small cookie cutters.

Time Commitment: About forty five minutes in total. Some to mix, some to cut out, and a few more minutes to bake.

Tools you need:

  • A cookie sheet or two
  • A cookie cutter or two (I especially like the hearts and the hippos)
  • an oven :)
  • large bowl and wooden spoon, plus measuring cups and utensils…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened powdered cocoa
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted, butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • granulated sugar
What to do:

Step One: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in the cut butter and rub in lightly with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Step Two: Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix or knead until a smooth dough forms. (The recipe now calls for chilling the dough for 45 minutes, but I never do.)

Step Three: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. (I cut the dough in quarters or thirds and work only with a small amount at a time, and I usually don’t even use a rolling pin, but just work it flat with my hands.)  Using a heart-shaped or other fun cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place them on a baking sheet. (I use a small, sharp knife to peel the cookies off of the surface of the counter.)

Step Four: Sprinkle the cookies with granulated sugar, (or coarse sea salt!) then bake for 12-15 minutes, or until firm but not browned around the edges.

Step Five: Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool, invite friends over for tea and cookies, and enjoy!

Here are my hippos–on a leisurely walk to the local watering hole