Sometimes monkeying with a good recipe is courting disaster. What could you possibly do to improve on a good shortbread, for example? Well, with the simple addition of some chopped herbs, you have a magnificent rosemary shortbread. Likewise, a smidgen of cocoa transforms this shortbread into a light, sandy wafer that practically dissolves on the tip of your tongue.
But be warned - these cookies have very little structure and are delicate to handle both raw and baked. The raw dough looks like wet sand, and just like a good dune, these disappear fast.
A few notes about this recipe:
- The raw dough has the texture of fine sand, and the baked cookies fall apart like sand too.
- I assumed 1 c AP flour = 4.5 oz. I wanted to use a touch more flour in this recipe because some of the other Cookes and Brownies recipe seemed a little short on flour for their fat content. It was a good call. Next time I might assume 5oz.
- I used Drost cocoa for these cookies.
- I formed these in mini tart pans and chilled the dough in the freezer for an hour before baking. After baking them in the tart pans, I let them cool in them too and they held their shape pretty well.
- When baking in mini tart pans, these cookies baked in 35 minutes.
- The recipe calls for granulated sugar to be sprinkled on as soon as the cookies come out of the oven, but I found a little salt added to the sugar made the cookies even more cocoa-y.
1+1/2 c AP flour
3 T Dutch process cocoa
12 T unsalted butter, softened
6 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp extra sugar, for sprinkling after baking
9-inch round or 8-inch square pan, or 9+1/2" fluted tart pan, greased or lined with foil
- Mix the flour and cocoa together thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Set aside.
- With a large spoon or an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy and smooth but not at all fluffy, less than 1 minute with the electric mixer.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
- Press the dough evenly in the pan.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Bake shortbread for 65 to 70 minutes (a few minutes less if using the tart pan) or until firm.
- Remove from the oven and sprinle with sugar.
- Cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use a thin sharp knife to cut the shortbread into wedges, oblongs, or squares.
Makes 16 large or 32 small pieces
May be stored airtight for at least 1 month
This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.