Delicious Shortbread Cookies for the Holidays
My favorite cookies are shortbread cookies — tender, crispy, buttery – and in this recipe, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with a finishing salt — simple shortbread perfection!
I have made these cookies often with the full 2 ½ cups of whole wheat PASTRY flour, but decided to BE BRAVE and adjust the recipe since whole wheat pastry flour is not as easily available in grocery stores around me now. So, this recipe calls for a combination of regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for that perfect balance of lightness and nuttiness. I also reduced the amount of butter and added in EVOO, but a really good, mild, high-quality EVOO is essential to the ultimate taste of these indulgent cookies.
Chocolatey, salty, sweet and crumbly, this is the first cookie I reach for on a cookie platter. Eat them on their own, dunked in coffee or tea and for a real treat, serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of more chocolate or even some caramel. YUM!
In this holiday season, when a little indulgence is warranted :), make a batch or two for a cookie swap or Christmas morning and enjoy the delicious aroma of shortbread as it fills your home!
Salted Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
1 cup whole-wheat flour (see Chef Note)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (see Chef Note)
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon O&V Unflavored EVOO *
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons O&V Melipone Vanilla
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped
1 teaspoon O&V Fleur de Sel
Preheat the oven to 325F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper
In one bowl mix together the flour, powdered sugar, kosher salt and cornstarch till well combined.
In a separate bowl beat together the butter, EVOO, and granulated sugar with an electric beater until well blended (3-4 minutes). Beat in the vanilla. Then add in the flour on lower speed until combined.
Roll and pat the dough into a 10-inch square on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until set and lightly browned around the edges (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and cut into 36 squares while still warm (a pizza cutter works great). Continue to cool the cookies completely in the baking sheet for at least one hour
Place the chopped chocolate in a small microwaveable bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Remove, stir, and heat again for an additional 30 seconds till the chocolate is melted. Spread the chocolate with a spatula on half of the top side of each cookie or dip the cookie halfway into the chocolate and place back on the parchment until set. Sprinkle with the Fleur de Sel. Let stand till chocolate sets (45-60 minutes).
Store in an airtight container for up to a week (although they won’t last that long!!)
Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Whole wheat flour is too heavy for baking – milled from hard red wheat it needs to be combined with all-purpose flour to achieve a good baked texture. You can substitute by using just all-purpose flour for a more traditional shortbread. However, if you are able to find whole wheat “pastry” flour (not easily found in regular grocery stores) just use that to get a nice whole wheat texture and flavor.
* A good Unflavored EVOO is critical to the ultimate flavor of these cookies, so make sure to use a high-quality oil here. The Melipone Vanilla and Fleur de Sel are available at most Oil & Vinegar stores and add tremendous flavor to this shortbread.
Categories: Dessert, Sweets, Salted Chocolate Cookies, Shortbread Cookies, Unflavored EVOO, Melipone Vanilla, Fleur de Sel, Bittersweet Chocolate, Holiday Baking, Cookie Swap, Whole Wheat Cookie, Sweet and Salty