Looking for a grown-up cookie recipe that you won’t mind helping Santa eat on Christmas Eve? I am a huge fan of shortbread, but had a hard time finding a recipe that made it just the way I like it: thick, dense, and sitting right in the middle between chewy and crispy. I toyed with a few recipes like this one from Allrecipes.com until I came up with a recipe that achieves my personal perfect texture.
These are great (and kid-pleasing) drizzled with chocolate sauce, but I like them even better plain with a nice cup of tea: they’re hearty, buttery, rich, and not too sweet. Best yet, they’re super easy to make. Here’s how:
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1-1/4 cups plus two tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips, baker’s chocolate, or chocolate bars, plus butter, heavy cream, or shortening, to make drizzle
- Preheat oven to 325 F
- Whisk or sift together flour and cornstarch in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then add both sugars, vanilla, and salt. Beat until fluffy. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low until it comes together into a dense dough.
- Dust flour on a jellyroll pan (cookie sheet with raised edges) and place the dough on the pan. Rub rolling pin with flour, and then carefully roll the dough flat. Depending how thick you want the cookie, you may not want to roll the dough all the way to the edges. If you don’t roll all the way to the edges the cookie won’t spread much, but you might wind up with rough, crispy edges. (Don’t worry, the cookies in the middle will still be gorgeous!)
- Bake 15 minutes and then inspect. You want the cookie to look like it’s starting to get slightly brown around the edges but not on top. You may need to give them another minute or two. Now take out the cookies, cut into wedges or squares and move to a cooling rack.
- If you like, make a chocolate glaze for dipping or drizzling. I used this recipe, but there are zillions out there and you should be able to find one using whatever you’ve got on hand, whether it’s chocolate chips, baker’s chocolate or even plain milk chocolate bars. Or try to wing it! Just keep in mind a few basic principles: melt uniform-sized pieces, use low heat, keep stirring with a rubber spatula, and make sure the spatula and pan are completely dry: any water that gets into the chocolate can make it “seize”, get gritty and lose that wonderful glossy texture. If that happens, you can add shortening a teaspoon at a time until the chocolate gets smooth and thin again. Dip or drizzle while the chocolate is still warm.
- Admire your work. Eat. Try to save some for Santa Claus.
It won’t be easy.
In the mood for more holiday posts? Check out my week-end, Christmas-is-almost-here roundup at The Happiest Mom!