Recipe by KT Kakes
I love shortbread. I also love chocolate. Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts provided what has become my favorite shortbread recipe. Chances are you have already have on hand everything you need to whip up a batch. She also says some of her friends like to add 1 teaspoon of dry instant espresso or other instant coffee (not granular). She also advises that you can omit the salt/vanilla! These are easy to make and have a nice strong chocolate flavor. The powdered sugar makes them tender and crumbly like Walkers or other Scottish shortbreads.
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 lb cold unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions See How It's Made
- Adjust two racks to divide oven into thirds, preheat to 300 degrees.
- You can prepare this dough in a mixer or food processor (or by hand).
- Food Processor Method, using steel blade:.
- Place dry ingredients in processor bowl.
- Cut cold butter into 1/2 slices and drop into bowl.
- Add the vanilla.
- Cover and pulse just until all ingredients hold together.
- Electric Mixer Method (take butter out of fridge 20-30 minutes before mixing):.
- Cream butter in large mixer bowl.
- Add salt, sugar and vanilla and mix.
- Using low speed, add cocoa and flour.
- Make sure to scrape down the sides and beat only until the dough holds together.
- Turn out dough onto floured surface. Knead it briefly, if necessary, until it's very smooth. Roll it into a ball and flatten it a bit.
- Roll to an even 1/2" thickness. Use a 1 1/2" round or square floured cookie cutter for a yield of 35-40 cookies. Reroll scraps of dough, if any, and cut more cookies.
- Place cut cookes 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Prick each cookie in three rows (I line the rows up evenly)with a dinner fork. Fork should go all the way through to the cookie sheet for each row. Pop the sheet in the fridge for a few minutes if your fork sticks too much or if the cookies are losing shape when you prick them.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until firm to touch, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back once. Be careful - since they're so dark in color it is easy for them to burn without much notice.
- If you use only one sheet, place on higher rack and reduce baking time.
- Place on rack to cool.