01 June 2018

DARK CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Shortbread cookies are so easy to make, yet so very delicious. They are great on their own, but even better with a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate. One important thing to keep in mind is the quality of the cocoa powder. The higher the cocoa quality, the better the cookies. It gives them a really deep, almost bitter chocolate flavour.
They do not have much sugar in them, and you can very easily use them as sandwich cookies with ice-cream, or with a simple buttercream filling. You do not need a mixer for these, just a sturdy spatula or a wooden spoon. Because you do not whip much air in them, they stay relatively flat and they do not spread when baked, so you can crowd the baking sheet a little.


Ingredients
200 grams butter, softened
3 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
200 grams plain flour
8 tablespoons high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation
Place the softened butter in a large bowl, add in the sugar, and blend it really well with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Keep blending until you no longer feel the grains of sugar. Once the butter is creamed well, sift in the cocoa powder, along with the ground cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend it with a wooden spoon again. The batter should resemble a thick chocolate frosting. Sift in half of the flour, mix very well, then sift in the other half, and mix until a soft dough comes together. At that point, wrap the dough in cling film, and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Once the dough has chilled, lightly dust the work surface with flour, roll the dough to about 5 mm thick, and cut out cookies with a small cookie cutter (2.5 cm). Arrange the cookies on two large baking sheets, and bake them in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F), for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure you do not overbake them, because they will be too brittle if you do. Once baked, remove them from the oven, and let them cool on the baking sheets for about 10-15 minutes, to firm up. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely, and store them in a covered container. Yields 60 small cookies.

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