Saturday, July 28, 2007

Deep Chocolate Shortbread

I read a recent review of this cookbook, Chocolate and Vanilla by Gale Gand*. I had to read it. Immediately. Thank you (once again) local library. The review mostly made me interested in the recipe for Deep Chocolate Shortbread . . . it raved about this dense cookie and labeled it a definite keeper.

Just a few ingredients (ones you typically have in your house) and it was extra simple to make. They'd be pretty packaged in a clear cellophane bag tied with twine.

2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 3/4 cups plus 2 T. flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 t. salt

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy and add vanilla, flour, cocoa powder and salt until just blended.

Dust work surface with flour and turn dough out onto it. Knead dough by hand enough to form it into a smooth ball. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into 1/4" thick square. Transfer dough to parchment lined cookie sheet by rolling it up around the rolling pin and then unrolling onto the paper. Roll dough a little bit more once it's on the cookie sheet to make it slightly thinner. Using a fork prick the surface of the dough all over. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake shortbread until firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately cut shortbread into 24 rectangles. Let cool before storing in airtight container at room temperature.

*Interestingly enough I enjoyed the vanilla recipes in her cookbook even more than the chocolate. The older I get the more I appreciate the vanilla flavor, even more than chocolate. That's something I never thought I'd say. One half of this cookbook features vanilla recipes. You turn it around to read her chocolate recipes. Check it out.