Every Christmas, my grandmother made shortbread. Without fail. And while her shortbread was amazing, sadly, I didn't appreciate the subtle, buttery beauty of the stuff back then: Not enough colored sugar or candy or icing for my young palate. I barely even noticed it on the dessert table, all humble and plain, next to the splashy red and green frosted cupcakes and cookies shaped like reindeer.
Now that I'm way, way older (sigh), I've developed quite a fondness for shortbread. But I'm still a sucker for chocolate. So this recipe for Chocolate Shortbread is the perfect cookie compromise, as far as I'm concerned. YUM. Make a batch of these and they'll be the hit of any holiday dessert table, I guarantee!
Makes 12 slices
300g unsalted butter
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
5 tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Icing sugar, to dust
Grease and line base and sides of a 18cm x 28cm pan. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl with electric beaters until pale. Sift in flour, cocoa, and soda and beat slowly until just combined. Spread in pan and smooth with a spatula. Prick all over with a fork. Chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cook shortbread for 25 minutes or until firm to touch. While it’s still hot, use a knife to score it into 12 rectangles. Cool slightly, then remove from pan and cut into 12 pieces. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Shortbread will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Image via jamieanne/Flickr