Chocolate Shortbread Hearts
Fragile and supremely buttery, these cocoa-flavored shortbread cookies are dunked partway in melted chocolate and sprinkled with an optional topping of crushed freeze-dried raspberries. If you use them, the berries add verve both from their scarlet color and their bright acidity, which is nice against the richness of the chocolate. But other garnishes — flaky sea salt, chopped pistachios, crushed candy canes, toasted coconut — can be substituted. Be sure not to roll the dough thinner than 1/2 inch. Otherwise, the cookies are apt to break and crumble after baking. Their thickness helps keep them intact.
- Serves: 18 persons
- 2cups/255 grams all-purpose flour
- ½cup/40 grams unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ⅛teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1cup/225 grams salted European-style (or cultured) butter (2 sticks), softened
- ⅔cup/135 grams granulated sugar
- 1large egg yolk
- 6ounces dark, milk or white chocolate chips, or use some of each (about 1 cup)
- ⅓cup freeze-dried raspberries, lightly crushed (optional)
Step 1In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Step 2In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in yolk, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Step 3Once chilled, remove plastic wrap and sandwich dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out into a 1/2-inch-thick slab. Leaving dough between the parchment, place it on a baking sheet or large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
Step 4Heat oven to 325 degrees, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Step 5Pull dough from refrigerator, and remove parchment from dough. Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut out as many hearts as possible. Transfer them to the prepared cookie sheets. Reroll the dough scraps and repeat.
Step 6Bake cookies for 18 to 23 minutes, until puffed and set, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Step 7In a heatproof measuring cup, melt chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between.
Step 8Dip half of each cooled cookie in melted chocolate, letting the excess drip back into measuring cup. Place back on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle chocolate with crushed raspberries, if using. Let cool until chocolate is set, then store in an airtight container.