Over the past five or so months, I have learned an abundance about blogging. Food blogging, in particular. Shall I share a brief list with you? Why not!
1.) As a new blogger, the majority of your readers are friends or family. Really, this is not all that surprising.
2.) Blogging is addicting. Fact.
3.) Your computer hard-drive becomes overloaded with pictures.
4.) The absurd quantity of pictures seems even more absurd when you consider the fact that the pictures are of food . . . and only food.
5.) Speaking of pictures, bigger isn’t always better. I doubt you want to spend an hour waiting for all the pictures on a single blog post to load. I sure don’t!
6.) Taste Spotting is very critical when accepting submissions.
7.) Dessert Stalking is not.
8.) Post titles should be straight-forward (unlike this list is turning out to be).
9.) There’s a lot of butter involved. It’s dangerous.
10.) Exercise is recommended.
Today, we’re breaking out the butter (see number 9, above). Oh yes. Three whole sticks. (In which case you might want to break out the yoga mat and your sneakers, too. Just a thought.)
Shortbread is a really simple, really delicious kind of cookie. As a general rule of thumb, shortbreads are super buttery, flaky, and not overly sweet. These guys certainly do not disappoint.
With a touch of chocolate and a hint of cinnamon, they are twice as flavorful and ultra satisfying. I mean, how can you go wrong with chocolate and cinnamon?
Another thing I love about this recipe is that the cookies aren’t rolled. Often times, shortbread cookies call for breaking out the rolling pin and some fancy cutters. Not this time. Instead, the dough is spread out on a baking sheet, baked until just firm, sliced when hot, and finished with a sprinkling of granulated sugar.
Now, I can’t take full credit for this recipe. It actually comes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. Not that I’m the authority on cookbooks, but this one is seriously amazing. It spans so many different aspects of baking – from homemade croissants, to fresh bread, to gorgeous cakes, and simple cookies such as these. I must’ve flipped through it a ridiculous number of times by now.
But if you don’t happen to own Martha’s handbook and still want to make these cookies, do not worry! I’ve saved you the legwork of going to your local Borders book store. :)
Chocolate Shortbread Fingers
From Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
-3 Stickes Unsalted Butter, room temperature
-2 ½ C. + 2 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
-4 ½ Tbsp. Dutch-process Cocoa Powder (I only had Hershey’s, so that’s what I went with)
-Heaping ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
-½ tsp. Kosher Salt
-¼ tsp. Baking Soda
-1 C. Superfine Sugar
-Granulated Sugar, For Sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 12×8 inch rimmed baking sheet, and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on long sides; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda until combined.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and superfine sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture, and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Using a small offset spatula, evenly spread dough in prepared baking sheet. Chill in the freezer or refrigerator until dough is firm, about 15 minutes. Prick dough all over with a fork; bake until just firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. While still hot, use a large knife to cut shortbread into 4×1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with graulated sugar. Cool completely in the pan. Shortbread can be kept in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
(I did not have the size baking sheet suggested in the recipe; instead, I used a 10×15. The cookies, which took about the same amount of time to bake, were thinner than intended, though still super delicious. Also, I preferred the cookies on the second and third days after baking rather than immediately after. Must be all that butter!)