This recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Shortbread is one the very best that I have hidden away in my arsenal. They are incredibly easy to make and perfect every time. How perfect your end result will depend entirely on the quality of the ingredients you choose to use. It WILL make a difference. So just trust me and use the pricier Valrhona cocoa powder instead of the standard Dutch processed. I have been making this recipe for almost 20 years and know for a fact from testing it out every which way that using the Valrhona chocolate and high quality butter make a far superior cookie.
I have shared recipes for other refrigerator style shortbread cookies with you before including coconut shortbread and poppy seed cookies. The process for putting this cookie together is identical and, like the others, they are fantastic to keep stored in the freezer for easy slice and bake treats. They are excellent all by themselves but also make beautiful accompaniments to ice creams, sorbets, or part of a larger selection of cookies. Roll the dough out and cut into shapes such as Valentine hearts or roll it into logs for slice and bake shortbread rounds.
Valrhona Chocolate Shortbread
Makes 4-5 dozen cookies depending on the size.
Use the very best coco powder if you cannot find Valrhona and sweet organic butter for best results.
|20 tablespoons||sweet unsalted butter|
|1/2 cup||unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona|
|1/2 teaspoon||sea salt|
|1 cup||confectioners sugar|
|1 1/4 cups||all purpose flour|
|1 teaspoon||vanilla extract|
Sift together with cocoa powder, salt, confectioners sugar, and flour into a mixing bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the butter and vanilla extract.
Mix or process the ingredients until just blended together.
Preheat the oven to 325 F and line 2-3 sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Empty the dough onto a work surface and divide into 2-3 sections. If you intend on rolling out the dough to cut shapes, gather and press the dough into rounds. If you plan to slice them into rounds and possibly store the dough in the freezer, roll it into logs about 2 inches in diameter.
If you are using cookie cutters, roll the dough out with a sprinkling of cocoa powder on the counter and dough surface to prevent it from sticking. Roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch or slightly less. Cut shapes into the rolled dough being careful to use the space wisely.
Use an offset spatula to transfer the cut dough from the counter to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the cookie. To test if the cookies are done, tap your fingertip onto the top of the cookies. They should be just about firm, but not hard.
Cool on cooling racks and store in airtight containers.
These cookies are best served as is. They are not like typical sugar cookies that can be easily decorated. They might be able to be cut into shapes, but they are extremely delicate. This is why I have to say, I most prefer to prepare logs out of the dough to slice into rounds. This is the form that the cookies hold up the best.