Shortbread with Chocolate

Shortbread with Chocolate

This crisp, buttery cookie is easy to make, and goes with everything. Dunked in coffee, coated in confectioners’ sugar glaze, or standing alone, shortbread is downright delicious. I found a slight drizzle of chocolate just might make this cookie absolutely perfect, and I took pleasure in treating the pan of cookies like an abstract painting. 

Shortbread with Chocolate
From The Vanilla Bean Baking Book


Notes: I prefer these rolled on the thinner side, but you can make them thicker if desired. I also call for a 2 in [5 cm] biscuit cutter, but you can use other sides as well; reduce the baking time if making smaller sizes. 

1 cup [142 g] all-purpose flour
1/3 cup [40 g] confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped
8 tablespoons [1 stick | 113 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 in [xx] pieces

Chocolate topping
2 ounces [57 g] bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

For the shortbread
Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla bean seeds on low speed. Add the butter one piece at a time and mix on medium until it is incorporated and the dough starts to form a ball. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, shape into a flat disc, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into a large, 1/4 in [6 mm] thick square. Using a 2 in [5 cm] biscuit cutter, cut out circles. (Any dough scraps can be rewrapped and chilled while the cookies are baking.) Gently slide a metal spatula underneath each round and transfer it to a prepared sheet. Place 12 on each sheet.

Bake one sheet at a time, 15 to 17 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool completely before drizzling with chocolate.

For the chocolate
Put about 1 in [2.5 cm] of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil.

Melt 1 oz [30 g] of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over the pan of boiling water, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir constantly until just melted. Add the remaining 1 oz [30 g] and stir until the chocolate is completely smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

To decorate
Keep the cookies on the baking sheet. Spoon the room-temperature chocolate into a zipper-lock bag and close to seal, then snip the tip to make a very small opening. If the opening is too big, the chocolate will flow out too fast. Drizzle the chocolate back and forth over the cookies, making criss-cross patterns (or any other pattern that you like). Let the chocolate set before removing the cookies from the pan (unless, of course, you need to eat one right away).

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