Crispy and buttery chocolate chunk shortbread cookies with pure vanilla gel with a sugary coating will melt away in your mouth. Each bite has a chunk of dark chocolate that will leave your mouth watering for more. This recipe is simple, and the majority of the time for preparation is for chilling the dough. Let us see what this recipe has to offer.
What is a shortbread cookie?
Shortbread is a Scottish biscuit made from sugar, flour, and butter. It has a dense, crummy texture.
Facts about these cookies
Did you know that shortbread is not bread? It is a biscuit made with three ingredients. Its crumbly texture is because of the high-fat content produced by the butter.
In Shetland, Scotland, shortbread was for special occasions like weddings, new year celebrations, and Christmas.
The dough rolls in sugar and spices before baking and this process enhances the taste.
Shortbread originated in Scotland in the early 16th century when left-over bread dough dried out in the oven to form a rusk. The yeast in the bread was replaced with butter and called shortbread.
On what occasion can they be served?
Shortbread cookies are served on Scottish new Year (Hogmanay) celebrations but are provided on various other occasions worldwide. They are great for decorating and plated for birthday parties and small gatherings.
What pairs well with them?
Pair shortbread with your favorite dried fruits and nuts, tea, or coffee. A dry sparkling wine like Prosecco goes well with these cookies to enhance the buttery flavor. Try it with a glass of Chardonnay too.
How do the main ingredients work?
Semi-sweet chocolate acts as part of the eye appeal of the cookies. They melt during the baking process.
Icing sugar gives the cookies a smoother texture than regular sugar.
Vanilla bean gel is more concentrated and gives the cookies a nice flavor versus the regular liquid extract.
Unsalted butter gives the cookies a crispy, crumbly texture.
How is it done?
Firstly, whip the unsalted butter until smooth in an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and gradually add the flour in three parts. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula at intervals for even distribution.
At this point, the dough may appear dry. Fold in the chopped chocolate by hand and roll the dough into a 12 inches long log. Refrigerate the dough wrapped in parchment paper for approximately 5 hours.
Lastly, when the dough is chilled, take it from the refrigerator and apply the egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1tsp water) with a brush. Roll the dough into white sugar and cut it into 24 slices. Lay them on a different baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cool and serve.
Why should you make them?
This cookie recipe is different from the rest and has a history attached to it. It would be the perfect treat for your next new year, Christmas, or birthday celebration.
Rusk is a twice-baked bread that forms a hard. dry biscuit.
Hogmanay is the last day of each year celebrated by the Scottish to welcome the new year.
Frequently asked questions
Question: Can the dough be made beforehand?
Answer: Yes, you can premake the dough up to 4 days before using it.
Also, the dough keeps frozen for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator for 5 hours before using it.
Question: why is the dough chilled in the fridge before baking?
Answer: Chilling solidify the butter and helps the cookie not to spread too much in the oven.
Did you know shortbread wasn’t bread? Did you know that it is a twice-baked left-over bread dough that drys out to form a rusk? There is a deep history to what we eat, and it’s good to know this information to share with others. Try this recipe and leave your comments for us.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 lb semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla bean gel
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp water
- 1/4 cup coarse sugar
- fine granule sea salt for garnish (optional)
- Beat room temperature butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Add the icing sugar, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt. mix until combine.
- Gradually add the flour in three parts. Stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Roughly chop the semi-sweet chocolate and fold it in the dough by hand or using a spoon.
- Form the dough into a 12 inches log on a small baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Wrap the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat the egg yolk and 1tsp water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and brush the log with the egg wash.
- Pour the extra sugar on a piece of parchment paper and roll the log into it. Ensure the entire log has the sugar.
- Cut the dough into 24 slices about 1/2 inch rounds.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking tray laying them an inch apart.
- If you choose to use the salt, you may now sprinkle a little on each cookie.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15- 20 minutes until they start to appear brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
The butter must be at room temperature before use. Chop your semi-sweet chocolate into chunks instead of having shavings or small pieces that may just dissolve in the cookie.
Do not overly pack the flour while measuring because too much flour will result in the dough being too dry and brittle to work with.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g