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
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.
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).