It's always good to have healthful travel snacks to bring along, or just keep handy…
It’s not too often I make the same recipe repeatedly – unless I’m testing or creating a recipe. But this one has had the honor of many many bakes. Posted by Carolyn Jung at FoodGal.com, Chocolate-Cocoa Nib Shortbread Cookies are the creation of Cindy Mushet from the Sur La Table book The Art & Soul of Baking. The unique touch to this roll-and-slice cookie is crunchy cocoa nibs. Don’t leave them out (I did accidentally one time); the cookies will be good but not as spectacular. I think you’ll be hooked on the flaky buttery shortbread and deep chocolate combination. Plus, they’re ready to bake in about 10 minutes if you skip the chilling (see tips below). You’ll want to keep these around — or at least a roll of dough in the freezer.
As mentioned in previous posts there are so many great recipes, that sometimes I share my favorite finds with you. Thanks to Carolyn Jung for agreeing to pass this one along. Go to FoodGal.com for the RECIPE, or below, and for a comprehensive baking book written for the home baker with professional results, take a look at The Art & Soul of Baking.
Rosie’s Tips for these crazy-good shortbread cookies:
I roll the dough cylinder about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, then slice 3/8-inch thick. If you’re in a hurry, 5-10 minutes in the freezer before slicing is ok, but the cookies will spread more when baked and be slightly less ‘short’ in texture. Still crisp and buttery-good. Chilled overnight the cookies will look more like the photo. Of course, you could keep rolled dough in the freezer to have on hand at a moment’s notice too! Then thaw for about 30 minutes before slicing.
I consistently measure the recipe amount of 4-1/4 ounces flour by stirring the flour then lightly spooning into a level 1-cup measuring cup and leveling the top with a knife. This is the standard way to measure flour as we discuss in our Kitchen Essentials under How To Kitchen Basics, and in our Tips Stockpot by LandOLakes Test Kitchen.
When mixing the dough, at first it will look too dry in the food processor. But after pulsing in 5 second increments for about 45 seconds total, it will start to clump. Don’t process until it comes together in a ball or the cookies will have a slightly less ‘short’ or flaky texture.
Cocoa nibs are the cracked, roasted interior of cocoa beans with a slightly bitter, deep chocolate flavor. Look for nibs at stores like Whole Foods, either packaged or in bulk.
A favorite unsweetened cocoa powder is the Dutch brand Droste which I think is very chocolaty. Droste is usually available at Cost Plus and Whole Foods. Guittard Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa and Tcho cocoa are also excellent choices.
Photo credit: www.foodgal.com
Chocolate-Cocoa Nib Shortbread Cookies
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut in1/2-inch cubes
- 1-3/4 cups (9.5oz/270g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 Tbsp. 3oz/85g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (2oz/56g) roasted cocoa nibs
- 4-5 Tbsp. sanding or raw sugar crystals
- Original instructions by Cindy Mushet.
- Place granulated sugar, butter, flour, cocoa and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and break up any large clumps with rubber or silicone spatula. Process for another 15 to 30 seconds, until dough looks uniformly dark and forms large, shaggy clumps. Add cocoa nibs and pulse 4 or 5 times to mix into the dough. Dump dough out onto a work surface and knead gently several times, just to bring it together.
- Squeeze dough into a log about 12 inches long and about 1 inch in diameter, and gently roll it back and forth until smooth. (Rosie rolls it on parchment paper, which can them be used to wrap the dough). Don’t add flour if the dough is sticky — simply refrigerate dough for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up the butter, then try again.
- If you like, sprinkle sanding sugar on work surface (or parchment) alongside the log and gently roll log in the sugar, turning to coat evenly. Cut a piece of plastic wrap several inches longer than the log and center the log at one long edge of the wrap. Roll log into the wrap so it is tightly bound by the plastic. Twist ends of the wrap to secure the log and help to create a rounded shape. You can use a cardboard paper towel roll to keep the roll of dough nicely rounded during storage. Just slit the cardboard lengthwise and slip the log inside it to help keep the rounded shape. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 300F and position and oven rack in the center. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove cardboard and plastic wrap from dough log and use a thin knife to slice it into 3/8-inch-thick rounds. Place 15-18 cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time, for 30 minutes, or until cookies are cooked through and look dry on top. (It’s difficult to tell when dark chocolate cookies are done. This is when an oven thermometer and a timer are your best friends in the kitchen.) Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.