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Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

I believe in balance. For example, if I eat three massive pieces of pepperoni pizza for dinner (yum) I will try my hardest to not eat dessert. On the contrary, if I have managed to tame my eating for most of the day, I believe in a sweet reward (thus undoing that entire day of not-horrible eating, but hey, we only go around once, right?). And since yesterday’s post was the somewhat advanced, time-consuming and ingredient-heavy (albeit delicious) recipe for yeasted coffeecake, I thought that a simple recipe with pantry ingredients would be a breath of fresh air today. Plus, shortbread cookies provide a great stepping stone into what is sure to be two weeks full of Irish-inspired recipes as we prepare to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Shortbread cookies are one of the simplest recipes you can make with ingredients that are usually always at the ready – butter, sugar, vanilla, flour and salt. That’s it! And if you want to dip them in chocolate, then of course chocolate. You’ll find no shortage of chocolate in my pantry!

Shortbread Cookies

The beauty of these cookies – in addition to their simplicity – is the rich flavor that is imparted from such few ingredients. They quite literally melt in your mouth, with a smooth buttery aftertaste. Shortbread and shortbread cookies can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes, although the traditional method is to bake it in a round pan and then cut into wedges. Shortbread fingers (like these) are also a very popular variety. The history of shortbread dates back to old world Scotland, where it is said that the ancient Scots baked shortbread in the winter months and put cuts in the shortbread rounds to represent the sun’s rays. Some say that this was a type of ritual to persuade the sun to return and do away with the cold winter.

Since the groundhog saw his shadow this year, I think everyone should make shortbread cookies to usher in spring and sunshine!

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Yield: Makes about 20 cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

¾ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Roll the dough ½-inch thick and cut into 3 by 1-inch fingers, either using a cookie cutter, pastry wheel, or pizza cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

4. When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

5. Dip ½ of each cookie into the chocolate to coat, letting the excess drip off. Set back on the parchment-lined sheet and let sit at room temperature until chocolate is set. Store at room temperature in a tin.

(From Ina Garten)

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53 Responses to “Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies”

  1. Jessica @ How Sweet on March 3, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Those look so delicious! I can taste the butter now! :)

    Reply

  2. jaclyn@todayslady on March 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Chocolate is never in short supply in my pantry either! These look great. It’s funny because growing up I hated shortbread and now I absolutely love it! I agree about balance when eating. Food is about enjoyment and feeling good. Chocolate is necessary and so is broccoli. And chocolate makes you happy, its proven :)

    Reply

  3. ashley on March 3, 2010 at 11:39 am

    looks delicious! i love how buttery shortbread is… throw in some chocolate and its heavenly!

    Reply

  4. gingela5 on March 3, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Can you please stop making so much stuff I want to try?! :) Totally kidding, but I basically want to try every single recipe on your site! Love it!

    Reply

  5. Meghan on March 3, 2010 at 11:39 am

    These look so fantastic! I’ve never had a homemade shortbread cookie before. Love that you dipped them in chocolate!!!!

    Reply

  6. Rachel J on March 3, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I’ll take 4 dozen. For lunch. ^_^

    Reply

  7. Jelli on March 3, 2010 at 11:56 am

    These are lovely. How did you get the fancy edges on some of the cookies?

    Reply

  8. Michelle on March 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Jelli – To get the fancy edging, I cut them with a fluted pastry wheel; the other ones with straight edges were cut with a pizza cutter.

    Reply

  9. Bo on March 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Looks like 100% deliciousness!!!

    Reply

  10. Bob on March 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I love, *love*, chocolate covered shortbread. This looks awesome.

    Reply

  11. cookimonster on March 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    hey i fell in love with your site the day my eyes landed on it (last week). bookmarked so many recipes to try out ‘sometime’ but the ease and simplicity of shortbread makes me want to whip up a batch right away! thanks for the recipe though i have a question for you:
    I have a mega stash of cocoa butter gifted to me and im at my wits end trying to use it up! I had read somewhere that cocoa butter used in place of regular dairy butter makes for longer lasting cookies (and cakes and sauces and gravies!!) but there were no recipes and it didn’t say how. since these cookies ask to be dipped in chocolate anyway, how would you suggest I go about subbing cocoa butter for regular butter? would using the same quantity as mentioned be alright? sorry for the long question. =) <3

    Reply

  12. Danielle on March 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    OH YUMMY! I love shortbread, especially with a nice hot cup of English Breakfast tea.

    You are making me hungry! :)

    Reply

  13. Heather (Heather's Dish) on March 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    those look insanely delicious! perfect for a little sweet snack or a good after-dinner dessert cookie…YUM!

    Reply

  14. rebecca subbiah on March 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    wow they are beautiful

    Reply

  15. Debbie on March 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I like the intro when you talked about your eating habits – eating pizza then holding back on dessert vs being good for the day then you could eat something sweet….that paragraph could have been about ME! I feel the same way…

    I love shortbread….this one’s a keeper in my recipe archive!

    Reply

  16. Margaret on March 3, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I love shortbread. And I love chocolate. What better than the two together. Fantastic!!

    (Sorta like having a diet coke with a piece of cake…..)

    Reply

  17. Katy R on March 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Lol, we must be on the same brain wave, I was craving shortbread cookies and made some last night! Yours look delicious :)

    Reply

  18. Katrina on March 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Oh how I love the simplicity of shortbread…and the melting in my mouth part. Yum!

    Reply

  19. Soma on March 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Yummilicous!

    Reply

  20. Janice on March 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I love this recipe from Ina Garten, I’m a huge fan of her and her stuff is always easy and always delicious. Thanks for sharing this wonderful treat

    Reply

  21. Aimee on March 3, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    ARGH! I have all these ingredients on hand! Don’t make me do it. :) LOL These look so good. Always great to read the thoughts of a fellow chocoholic. ;)

    Reply

  22. tasteofbeirut on March 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I believe that classic is best and these shortbread cookies are IT!
    Great photos too, makes me want to get back in the kitchen and bake!

    Reply

  23. shelly (cookies and cups) on March 4, 2010 at 7:48 am

    those look perfect!

    Reply

  24. bridget {bake at 350} on March 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I think dipping them in chocolate is a brilliant idea!

    Reply

  25. Dolce on March 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I am totally drooling now over my computer… They look fabulous!

    Reply

  26. baobabs on March 5, 2010 at 4:09 am

    OMG im so hungry just looking at this……

    Reply

  27. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on March 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Shortbread is one of my favorites… I love it with a cup of coffee.

    Reply

  28. Molly on March 7, 2010 at 7:22 am

    THIS LOOKS SOOOOOOO GOOD. Definitely going on my ‘to-do’ list. :-)

    Molly

    Reply

  29. Three Baking Sheet on March 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    …aaaaand there goes my nonexistent diet.

    I’ll be making these tonight. Yesiree.

    Reply

  30. enrolled agent course on March 14, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Shortbread cookies are a staple on our household, but I always make the plain, simple ones. Thanks for sharing this recipe as I can now try to come up with variations.

    Reply

  31. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on March 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I’ll happily take chocolate dipped anything!

    Reply

  32. Stiffler on March 15, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    i just caught a rerun of Barefoot Contessa and saw Ina make these cookies. i want to try them real soon.

    Reply

  33. Mariko on August 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    3/4 pound of butter? D: Although the idea makes my mouth water (and is rather appropriate for Julia Child’s birthday!), it is a rather terrifying prospect…do you mean 3/4 cup or is it for reals 3/4 pound?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 25th, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      Hi Mariko, It’s not a typo, 3/4 lb (or 3 sticks) of butter – shortbread is a very, well, short-type of cookie that’s very buttery. They’re delicious! I hope you’ll give them a try!

      Reply

  34. jami on February 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    If you follow this method for melting the chocolate (which I guess is sort of an easy way to temper it), does it ever bloom? Thanks!

    Reply

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  37. Cathy on February 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I’m in the middle of making these, and they put a HUGE strain on my mixer. I have a Kitchen-Aid Professional 6, and it was rocking and clicking. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 14th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Hi Cathy, Definitely not normal at all. These are actually really easy on a mixer (I also have a professional 6-quart). My guess is that your butter wasn’t soft enough and it was bouncing around in there; that’s the only thing that would cause it to do that, unless there is a problem with your mixer.

      Reply

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  40. Dine on January 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Hello, i want to try this. But i dont have a mixer :(

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 1st, 2013 at 10:44 am

      You can certainly cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, but it takes A LOT of elbow grease!

      Reply

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  42. Charlotte on August 24, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Hey. They look so delish… But how lo g Can they last. My wedding is comming up and i am thinking about having these for my reseption… Can i bake Them two two weeks in advace? ;-)

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 25th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Charlotte, They wouldn’t last two weeks if not frozen. I would wait to dip them in chocolate until you thaw them, within a few days of serving.

      Reply

  43. plasterer bristol on September 16, 2013 at 8:20 am

    These look really lovely…

    Reply

  44. Julie Caldwell on October 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Okay, rookie mistake, I thought the recipe said 3/4 cup not pound of butter. I had to ditch the whole batch in the trash but will definately be back in the kitchen making this one again, correctly.

    Reply

  45. Vika on October 18, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I was wondering, could I melt chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate bars? Would the result be different?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Vika, You could use chocolate chips and it shouldn’t be an issue.

      Reply

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