Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shortbread Cookies

Well, if you're still here after Tuesday's disaster of a recipe, thanks for sticking with me as i figure out a not-so-long-winded and easy to understand writing style for this blog. I quickly forget that cooking instructions should not be like my other blog where i just rant for 500+ words. I digress, today we're going to be stepping back from the chaos that was last weeks recipe (not the end result but the juggling act i tried to put into words), and do something a little more simple and laid back.

Shortbread cookies are one of my favorite things to cook because it's a nice slow and self-paced process that doesn't really have a lot of involvement to the user. Kinda like most other cookie recipes. However, with shortbread, the mixture is always a little bit of an enigma which is why none of the instructions in this blog are going to be end-all-see-all measurements. it's going to take a lot of tasting the dough to get it just the way you want it. I've tried about a dozen different recipes for shortbread cookies and i have finally come up with one of my own which i think is better than the ones i've come across.

What you'll need for this recipe:

  • 1.5 sticks of butter
  • 1.25 cups of flour
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • Chocolate of your choosing.
Pretty simple ingredients list for today which is what i was talking about. The first think you're going to do is put the one and a half sticks of butter in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave it at 50% power until you see that at least 70% of the butter has been melted. It doesn't have to be completely melted when you pull it out because the heat generated from the liquified butter will actually do the rest of the work for you.

Get out a mixing bowl, pour in the flour, sugar, and then the melted butter. stir until it starts to congeal and turn into a doughy substance. You're going to want to try balling the dough up, if it feels sandy or powdery in any way, you need more butter, usually, if you do need more, you just add the other half stick and you're good to go. Be sure to mix thoroughly so that the new, additional ingredients are added throughout the mixture.

Once it feels doughy and there is no remnant powder or sandy feel to it, tear off a small piece and taste it. Taste like butter? More sugar. Taste kind alike a sugary butter? you're good to go. Once you've got the mixture whipped and doughed, start preheating the oven to 325 degrees.

From here you can choose to make squares like i do, or your traditional style cookies. For squares, get all the dough into 1 massive dough ball, and kneed it out, making sure to stitch up any cracks in the dough as you go along until it is at the desired thickness, then chop off the rounded edges and cut the cookies out of what's left, rinse and repeat till you're out of dough or don't have enough to make any more.

For traditional circular cookies, just make smaller balled pieces of dough. lay them all out on a pan that's been sprayed with a non-stick additive like Pam and spread out your cookies.

Drop the cookies in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to get noticeably golden brown. Take out the cookies and let them cool while you melt the chocolate in the same fashion that you melted the butter. If you've got chocolate mousse, it won't loose it's shape, it will just get really shiny and then burn. so be sure to take it out and whip it with a fork on occasion to make sure it's not already melted and you just can't tell.

With that same fork you whipped the chocolate with, use it as a drizzle stick and just wave it over the cookies while they're still hot to give it the look i have on my cookies, then sprinkle a dab of sugar on each cookie while the chocolate is still liquid to lock it onto the cookie. If you get too much sugar on the cookies, not to worry, when you're taking them off the pan, you can always tap off the extra sugar gently.

Lastly, Be sure that you let the chocolate dry 100% before removing the cookies from the cookie pan. You're always going to get some chocolate on the pan itself so you can always just poke it with a finger as a gauge to how dry all of the chocolate is.

Have you tried this recipe? What did you think? leave your feedback in the comments section!

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