Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Shortbread with Chocolate and Sea Salt
Holiday baking season is upon us. Which for us means choosing a mix of things that are elaborate/impressive/delicious balanced with a few things that are simple/fast/delicious.
These buttery bars fall into the second category, but the combination of bittersweet chocolate and delicately flaky sea salt gives them an air of "elegance" that belies the ease of creating them. You dump your ingredients into a bowl, mix it all up, and do some assembling and baking. Cut into squares, they look festive on a cookie platter or wrapped in colorful cellophane with a bow.
Shortbread With Chocolate and Sea Salt
adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
1 c. butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. AP flour
2 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
coarse sea salt
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then, add the egg and the vanilla and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the flour until combined and a very sticky dough is formed.
Using a knife or spatula, spread the dough thinly on a cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and a little puffy.
Remove the baked cookie from the oven, and sprinkle with the chocolate. Return it to the oven for a minute or two, until the chocolate is very soft. Use a knife or spatula to spread the chocolate over the cookie like frosting. Then, sprinkle generously with sea salt and allow to cool (or refrigerate) until set.
Use a pizza cutter for best results when cutting into squares.
Notes on this recipe: Go ahead and substitute some almond or peppermint (or other) extract for a bit of the vanilla, if you want to flavor your cookie differently.You can make any number of substitutions here in terms of toppings: use white chocolate or milk chocolate, and sprinkle with nuts or chopped candy canes or drizzle with lovely icing. These can be adapted for any season or occasion by changing your toppings a bit.
Posted by Kate at 2:10 PM