Sunday, February 19, 2012

Royal Shortbread Cookies

1 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick salted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup finely chopped semi sweet chocolate, for dipping

With a hand mixer on the medium speed, beat the butter until smooth and creamy for about a minute. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Then gently stir in the flour mixture and make the dough out of the batter by kneading it gently on a lightly floured surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill the dough until firm (at least 1-2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough upto a 1/4 inch thick circle.  Cut into the desired shapes using a cookie cutter. I used the heart, oval and the round shapes. For the round shapes, to have a different design, I used a toothpick and pressed it into the dough to create the lines over the cookies. Place the cut cookie shapes on the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. The refrigeration helps the cookies to maintain their shapes even after baking. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until cookies are very lightly browned. Mine were done in about 7 minutes. Let the cookies cool.

For Chocolate Dipping: Place 1/3 cup finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat. Don't overheat. Taking one cookie at a time, dip one end of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. The chocolate which I used was the one with almonds so the dipping has a rough edge and not smooth as seen in the photo. Once all the cookies have been dipped in the chocolate, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened (for 10-15 minutes). I made around 15 cookies with 1.5 inches of cookie cutters.

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