Recipe: Shortbread cookies
The past 10 days weren’t the pleasantest of the days for us with our little girl down with a mild attack of pneumonia. It broke my heart to see my ever so fluttery butterfly all curled up in our couch with soaring temperatures and a clogged little chest.
What was even more depressing was her loss of appetite. I couldn’t bear to see my months of hard work to work up some flesh under her skin, wither away…… my daughter had moved on from being lean to just skin and bones.
After 5 days of continuous fever, it was almost as if she had forgotten to eat and all I could manage into her were a few teaspoons of soup. More than her illness, it was this that was worrying me to death.
And finally on the sixth day, with the fever at bay, she finally asked me the big question… ‘Amma, I want some cookies’. Though I wasn’t too sure about her request (you know, she’s usually fond of cakes and cookies are not amongst her common requests) I wasted no time to race into the kitchen to execute her wish.
I decided to make some shortbread cookies for my darling as she had seemed to enjoy them the last couple of times I had made them, but this time of course I couldn’t be sure.
Shortbread cookies are of Scottish origin and they have a tender, crumbly and melt-in-the mouth texture (seriously, they can really melt in your mouth). They come in many different variations and flavours and are quite enjoyable over tea.
But here, I have just gone for the basic shortbread variety with a few dipped in melted chocolate. The shortbread cookies with chocolaty ends are called Royal Shortbreads.
But the best part of these cookies is their ease to make. They require very few ingredients and are very very simple to make.
I made both the variants as I wasn’t sure which one might capture my little ones fancy, oh, all I wanted was to get her to eat something so that she could at the least have the energy to smile.
Well, she went for the plain varieties and I was elated to see her munch down a couple of them.
And I love shortbreads, anyway it is made... J
The recipe for these shortbreads have been adapted from joyofbaking, please find the link here.
(Adapted from Joy of Baking)
All-purpose flour – 1 cup
Salt – 1/8 tsp
Unsalted butter – ½ cup at room temperature, should be nice and soft
Confectioners sugar/ Icing sugar – ¼ cup
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
For the chocolate dip:
Unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate chopped- 60 gm
-Wisk together flour and salt and set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer beat the butter until nice and creamy (about 1 min). Now add the sugar and whip on till you get a smooth mixture, which might take around 2 mins. Finally add the vanilla extract and beat for a few seconds.
- Now stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Using your hands flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough using a cling film or a zip lock. Place the dough in your refrigerator and leave to chill for half an hour or until firm.
-Roll out the chilled dough, on a lightly floured surface, into a ¼ inch thick circle. Now using a lightly floured cookie cutter cut out the cookies into any shape of your choice. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, you may use a cap of any container with a narrow mouth.
- Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and leave to chill in your refrigerator for 10-15 mins. This will help the cookies retain their shape while baking.
- Now pop them into your oven preheated at 177 degree C and bake for 8-10 mins or until the cookies are lightly browned. Mine were ready in about 6-7 mins so it would be a good idea to check for the cookies after 5 mins of baking.
- Leave to cool completely.
For chocolate dipped shortbreads:
Place half of the chopped chocolates in a heatproof bowl and place it over a pan of simmering water and heat until the chocolate melts completely. Remove this from heat and then add the remaining chocolates and stir until these too melts completely and is smooth and glossy.
Now dip one end of the cooled cookies into this one at a time and place on a baking sheet or any plate lined with parchment paper.
Once all the cookies are done, leave the sheet in your refrigerator for around 10 mins of until the chocolate firms up.
You may store these cookies in an airtight container for around a week.