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This recipe is part of Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies.

Chocolate Shortbread

Chocolate Shortbread

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.

Chocolate Shortbread
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

  1. Mix the flour and cocoa together thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Press the dough evenly in the pan.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 300F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  7. Bake shortbread for 65 to 70 minutes (a few minutes less if using the tart pan) or until firm.
  8. Remove from the oven and sprinle with sugar.
  9. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. 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.


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two great things

Shortbread AND chocolate together!...oh yum.