As much as I love over-the-top desserts, I also love cookies or treats that have very few ingredients but pack a big punch. The other night I was feeling like shortbread. Something about the crunchy and butter cookies was calling to me. I have always thought that shortbread was something that you couldn’t really get wrong, but trust me on this – YOU CAN. It can taste like flour or it can not bake up evenly, leaving you with a chewy center. None of those things will happen with this incredibly easy recipe. I have made it twice in the last three days (and yes – I did figure out the weight watcher’s points, and no – I did NOT eat them all myself.) What are workplaces for if not to welcome your weeknight baked goods with open arms!?
These shortbread cookies have three main ingredients. That’s right – just three – most of which you should have in your kitchen right now. Unless, unlike me, you remembered to bring your 8 pounds of butter to your holiday baking day and didn’t leave them at home necessitating the purchase of 8 more pounds of butter – I have been on unsalted butter overload. If you are feeling like taking things up a notch, you can even dip them in dark or semi-sweet chocolate like I did. SO GOOD!
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together 1 pound butter and 1 cup brown sugar.
Mix until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.
With the mixer on slow, add in 3 1/2 cups of your flour, making sure not to add it too quickly and spray it all over your counter – like me.
When it seems like the dough is no longer accepting flour, dump the remaining flour on a smooth surface and plop ( couldn’t think of a better word) the dough on top. Kneed in the remaining flour until you have a smooth dough. It may seem slightly sticky, but don’t worry – it will roll out perfectly.
Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Try your best to get it in a semi-rectangle shape so that it makes cutting out the cookies easier.
Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, trim off the edges so you are left with a big even rectangle. Slice the cookies into cute even little squares and using a spatula, transfer them to a cookie sheet.
Take a fork and make fork pokes in the cookies. Bake @ 325 for 20-25 minutes. The larger your cookies are, the longer they will take to work. My 2″ by 1 1/2″ cookies took 23 minutes. They will be golden brown and look like little blond pillows.
You can transfer them to a cooling rack now or later – it doesn’t matter either way! Repeat with the remaining dough: roll, shape into a rectangle, cut cookies, transfer and bake.
Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave, setting out 1/3 of the chocolate to mix into the melted chocolate once it is melted. This will help with the tempering.
Dip the cookies one by one until they are covered by chocolate on one side. Place on a silicone mat or parchment paper to set. (I went one step further and sprinkled a little sea salt over the chocolate just before it cooled).
When you bite into these cookies, you taste the richness of the butter, the slight sweet of the chocolate, and the tang of the salt. The bonus is, you probably have all the ingredients on hand right now! Go make them!