Friday, February 17, 2012

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

After seeing the Pioneer Woman make chocolate cookies dipped in chocolate and all sorts of goodies (chocolate chips, nuts, M&Ms, etc.), and the Barefoot Contessa make shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate, I felt the urge to make a combination of both! I'm not a chocolate cookie fan, except for Oreo's - don't get me started on the perfection of a double stuff oreo - but I do love shortbread, and dipped in chocolate and crusted with salty pistachios? Forget about it! I went to town. The recipe for the shortbread cookies is Ina Garten's. I will say, in the future, I will halve this recipe - this is a LOT of shortbread!

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature (that's three sticks of butter - oh my)
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used almond extract instead)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
chopped pistachios

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. (I used a round biscuit cutter.) Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

4. When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

5. Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it. Dip some of the chocolate-covered cookies in the chopped pistachios.

ENJOY! They are almost too pretty to eat...well, almost!

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