Sunday, September 29, 2013

King Arthur Flour's Chocolate Shortbread

Chocolate Shortbread

We are now back from our trip to Italy and Amsterdam --- it was a great vacation --- but I have been looking forward to being home and cooking/baking again in our kitchen. 

While we were traveling, Colleen sent me the link to this recipe for Chocolate Shortbread and these comments: 

"I am always on the lookout for something I can bake that can ship well to William.  I think these may fit the bill.  The soft and chewy snickerdoodles that I sent to my daughter's friend at American University arrived in good shape and have made her very popular with her dorm mates.  Her roommate was uninterested in them at first because they lacked chocolate, but Lia forced her to try one.  And then she ate five.    I love having cookie recipes that you can bake ahead a day or two.  The chocolate chip cookies I make are delicious, but tend to be best 20 minutes out of the oven.

Here is the link to the Chocolate Shortbread.  The recipe is from the King Arthur's Flour folks.  I didn't use KA flour or cocoa.  I baked mine for the recommended time but they still seemed a bit under baked when I cut them.
They taste good, though.   I used salted butter (it is what I had on hand) and cut back on the salt a bit, but next time I will use unsalted butter instead.  The chocolate flavor is good and they are easy to mix up.

So some of the recipe reviewers said the cookies are better the next  day. I would say I agree.  I had a few for breakfast with my tea.  They are delicious.  The texture is not what I think of when I think of shortbread; mine aren't crisp/crunchy.  They are more like a cross between a cookie and fudge.  Soft and dense.  It may be that I under baked them, or it just may be the recipe.  I've looked into a lot of other recipes and all of them seem very similar (flour, butter, cocoa, salt) but a good number of them use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar.  So I may give that a try and see what happens"    --- Colleen
I agree, this is a super easy recipe --- just be sure to start with very soft butter, and  I used parchment paper to make them easy to pop out of the pan.  Colleen said when she made it again she used tart pans with a removal bottom instead of a 9x9 square pan to make them easier to deal with. 
King Arthur Flour's Chocolate Shortbread
(Originally published in King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion Cookbook)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt, extra-fine if possible
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa  (I used what I had -- Rademaker's*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 1) Preheat the oven to 300°F. For thin, crisp shortbread, grease two 8" square pans. For thicker shortbread, grease one 9" square pan.
    2) To avoid over-creaming, we recommend that you stir the dough by hand. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the butter, salt, and sugar until well blended.
    3) Add the cocoa, vanilla, baking powder, and flour, and mix until you have a smooth, slightly stiff batter.
    4) Press the dough into your prepared pan(s) and prick all over with a fork. This will keep the shortbread from developing bubbles under the crust.
    5) Bake the shortbread in two pans for 35 to 40 minutes; the single 9" pan will take about 50 minutes.
    Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
    6) Invert the pan(s) over a clean sheet of parchment and turn out the shortbread. While still warm, cut each square into 12 pieces. Cool completely before serving.
    Yield: 12 to 24 pieces, depending on thickness


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