I know I promised a Fall project this post but work has been hectic and one must be flexible in life. While I catch my breath I've opted for a quick post with a classic shortbread cookie recipe with a bit of a twist by adding chocolate chips. By way of background my maternal grandmother was Scottish and my grandfather was English so it's no surprise that I was raised drinking copious amounts of tea and munching lots of cookies. With all the sweets that I've consumed it's really astonishing that I still have my own teeth. Which is neither here nor there. My point is that one of my favorite childhood treats at teatime was a simple classic shortbread cookie for which I have at last found a recipe.
It hasn't been as easy as you might think to find such a recipe. Over the years I've tried several but never achieved a nice dry short cookie similar to the shortbread I had growing up. Until I came across a recipe in Victoria Magazine (I love all their issues) that finally had what I was searching for. Except, being an American, I of course had to add something to take the cookies up a notch as all American cookies are loaded with ingredients. I also eliminated some nontraditional spices they had added. This way I was able to honor tradition and still have a cookie to satisfy my American tastes. I hope you will enjoy these cookies which are particularly nice on a cool afternoon with a hot cup of tea. And I'm speaking of an English style tea. If you haven't a favorite black tea I recommend Taylors of Harrogate, Yorkshire Gold which I love with a splash of milk. For tips on brewing an English tea (as gleaned from my mum who was born and raised in England) I refer you to a post that I think you'll enjoy Put the Kettle on It's Tea Time. Without further ado, the recipe.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie Recipe, adapted from Scottish Shortbread Cookie recipe, Bliss Victoria Magazine (September 2013).
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup bittersweet premium (large) chips or chopped bar chocolate. I use Ghirardelli chocolate.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
2. Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrap bowl often.
3. Combined the flour and salt and then add to butter mixture. On slow speed add the flour until mix comes together as a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board (add very little flour to your dough during the kneading) and knead for approximately 5 minutes. Do not rush the kneading process as it's the long kneading period that gives these cookies a wonderful short texture. After the dough has been kneaded add the chocolate chips and fold in several times to combine evenly. Using a rolling pin (or the palm of your hands) flatted dough into a disk approximately 1/2 inch thick. Use a 2.5" biscuit cutter to cut out cookies or simply slice into traditional rectangular shape.
4. Bake cookies for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) until slightly golden in color.
5. Optional toppings. While still warm sprinkle with demerara sugar or after completely cool you can drizzle with warm bittersweet chocolate. But be warned the chocolate topping only looks best the day they are made and won't last as well, although they are deliciously decadent.
Nibble nibble. Store in a cool dry container for a day or two or freeze.
Incidentally, the Emma Bridgewater mug pictured above was a gift from my sweet sister who brought it for me all the way from England. I love how perfect it is for Fall and use it every morning.
Until next time be well and love well and ready or not it's time to revel in autumnal splendor. Fall doesn't technically arrive until September 22, 2016 but I couldn't resist an early pumpkin that I delightedly dragged home. "It looks like it has leprosy" Steve observed adding he wants his pumpkin to be a plain orange one. To each their own I say! What will your pumpkin look like?