Chocolate Shortbread

The first time I bit into one of these treats, it was deep, dark, cocoa love. Shortbreads are a simple, sweet, biscuit-style cookie – grown-up, if you will. Chocolate flavor fills every crevice in this recipe — which is inspired by pastry chef, cookbook author and baking goddess Maida Heatter — and the butter delivers a final kick to our taste buds.

Chocolate Shortbread

  • 2 cups sifted unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup sifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line two cookie trays with parchment or silicone mats.

Place butter in large bowl of standing mixer and beat until soft. Add sugar and beat to mix. Add flour and cocoa on slow speed and then blend on high until dough is smooth and large clumps form.

Form dough into ball and flatten slightly. Dust flour on both sides, on rolling surface and on rolling pin. Roll to half-inch thickness, at least. Dough might be crumbly, but you can ease it back together after each roll.

Start working from the edge of the dough, using a cookie cutter. Sprinkle flour on the cutter each time and cut each cookie as close to the other as you can. Place on cookie sheet, one inch apart.

Bake 25-30 minutes, watching for any burning in the last few minutes. Let cool a few minutes on the tray then use spatula to move to a rack to fully cool. Add a design with royal icing or just dust with additional confectioners sugar. Makes 2 dozen.

Gary: With a sweet, chocolatey cookie, look for wines that are sweeter than the dish. For this pairing, a Kabinett or Spätlese German Riesling or similar wine from California, Washington or Ohio would be very pleasant. Also try a Vouvray/Chenin Blanc, Sweet sparkler or Moscato, an Ice Wine from the Lake Erie or Niagara region or a Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise.

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