Delightful Repast Blog Feb 2018

08 FEBRUARY 2018

Chocolate Shortbread 

Chocolate Shortbread Hearts (but you can make any shape you want) /
Why Chocolate Shortbread Hearts? Because this month is my 8th blogiversary here at Delightful Repast, and I was thinking how much I ❤ you, my dear readers.

I had no idea when I started out that I would be doing it for so long! Or that I would actually build a community of nice people who enjoy the same things I do. 

Like comfort food and tea and wine and the occasional sweet treat like this. I like things less sweet, so I prefer this recipe with 1/3 cup sugar, but you might like it with 1/2 cup. 

When I gave Mr Delightful a heart from Batch #1 with 1/2 cup sugar and asked him if he thought it was too sweet, he didn't. But when I gave him one from Batch #2 with 1/3 cup sugar, he said it was more chocolatey. 👍

(Sorry. Couldn't resist the thumbs-up emoji. Can you tell I only just learned how to insert "special characters" in a post?)

He's the chocolate fan in the family (and is currently enjoying some 86% cacao chocolate, which is pretty intense), so I defer to him in all matters chocolate, since I can take it or leave it myself.

I know, I know, that isn't natural. But hey, I hate shopping, too. I'm just a freak of nature!

If you think this is just a paltry amount of cookies, you can easily double or triple the recipe. 

Also, you can shape them lots of different ways. I have a small collection of 2-inch cookie stamps and used the teapot stamp for the cookies below.

Chocolate Shortbread - Stamped Cookies /

The teapots show up much more clearly on pale, plain shortbread cookies, but still these are kind of cute, don't you think? I just used a 2-teaspoon measuring spoon of dough for each, rolled it in a ball, put it in the center of the stamp, then placed it on the parchment-lined baking sheet and pressed till the dough reached the edge of the stamp.

The coffee is optional. I don't use enough that you really taste the coffee, just enough to do that certain something that coffee does to perk up the chocolate flavor.

Thank you for visiting Delightful Repast here and, perhaps, on Pinterest and Twitter as well. I love your comments and am happy to take questions and requests! ❤
Chocolate Shortbread Hearts (but you can make any shape you want) /

Chocolate Shortbread

(Makes about 16 2.5-inch hearts)
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (0.75 ounce/21 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder*
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup (2.33 to 3.5 ounces/66 to 99 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon very strong coffee (1.5 teaspoons coffee brewed in 1/4 cup hot water)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* I always buy organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee and cocoa products.
1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt.
2 In medium bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract just until smooth.
3 Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix well without beating a lot of air into it.
4 Roll out dough to 1/4-inch (6.35 mm) thickness between 2 squares of parchment paper. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Note: If you want to use the same technique that I use for making the butter sheet for Croissants, it makes rolling out the dough evenly very easy. Fold a 24-inch length of parchment or wax paper in half widthwise and fold up the open sides to make a 10x7-inch package. Unfold it and place it on the work surface. Arrange the slab of dough in the middle of one end of the paper within the "package" area; flatten it a bit. Refold the package and turn it over so that folds are underneath. With a rolling pin, roll the dough in an even layer to fill the package. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
5 With heart-shaped cutter about 2.5 inches wide and 2.25 inches tall, cut out shortbread. Re-roll scraps and cut out more. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325F/165C/Gas3.

Note: If you roll the dough into a 10x7-inch rectangle as in Note above, you can just cut the dough into 25 rectangles.
6 Bake for 25 to 30* minutes, until quite firm. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

* I'm sure that depends on the size and thickness of the cookies, as well as your oven; so start checking at 20 minutes and don't walk away. If you make them the same every time, you can settle on a time.

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