I wanted to get back into my baking groove, and instead of being paralyzed by the wide variety of recipes at my disposal, I decided to keep it sweet and simple: a bare bones shortbread recipe. It was also easy to shape – all I needed to do was press it flat with my hands and cut it up into little rectangles. Sometimes, even balling cookie globs can be quite tedious when all you want to do is just end up with a finished product.
I’m actually really surprised by how tasty these are for the amount of effort. The texture is light and crumbly, and the cookies truly melt in your mouth. Taking care to actually shave a bar of semi-sweet chocolate down into little flakes adds so much more dimension to an otherwise standard-issue butter shortbread cookie – it fulfills chocolatey cravings but imparts more flavor than cloying richness to the cookie. The cookie is also on the salty side, so you may want to skip the coarse salt topping.
Overall, this would make a great tea-time snack.
Chocolate Speckled Salted Shortbread
From Bake or Break
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces dark chocolate, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon water, if necessary
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, such as fleur de sel
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Sift flour, add salt to flour, then add to mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate.
Dough will be crumbly but should hold together when pinched. If dough is not holding together, mix in 1 tablespoon water. Don’t be afraid to dig your hands in to mix it all up if it’s not coming together properly in the mixer.
Form dough into 2 balls and flatten into discs. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disc of dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into 1″x 2″ strips. Carefully transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake 18-22 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pans for 10 minutes. Then, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.