I was in the mood to bake a little something and decided to find a recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. My sister gave me the book for Christmas and I've been looking forward to trying out some, if not all, of the recipes! I had to find something simple because I am running out of eggs, and I didn't want to go to the store to buy anything. So I settled on the chocolate shortbread--yum.
April 1, 2008
Occasion: No reason
Name of cookie: Martha's Chocolate Shortbread
Constituents: Shortbread, with cocoa powder and cinnamon
Oh, I love shortbread. So buttery, so tender, so firm and sweet. Tasty with tea or coffee. Or anything else, really.
The recipe is pretty straightforward; I converted the main ingredients into grams and weighed out the dry stuff. The hardest part for me was waiting for the butter to thaw and come to room temperature. (I keep a butter stash in the freezer, 'cause you never know.) The recipe is based on the creaming method of baking: you assemble all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and cream the butter and sugar in the mixer.
I haven't creamed butter and sugar in a long time. I've become so enamored of the two-stage method that I've even re-worked other cake recipes so that I wouldn't have to cream butter and sugar. Not that there's anything wrong with creaming, but I love not having to worry about overmixing. It's the lazy in me--I can't help it.
The recipe says to cream the butter and sugar at medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. This was an a-ha moment for me, as I realised that in my youth when I creamed butter and sugar, I pretty much took about 45 seconds to make sure the butter and sugar were mixed together and called it good. As I watched the butter and sugar metamorphose into this lovely, light, fluffy, silky mass, I finally understood what creaming butter and sugar really is. A-ha!
These babies went into the oven for a lot longer than the 20 minutes the recipe suggests. They are done when the dough feels firm, and for me that took about 30-35 minutes. But oh--I couldn't wait until they were cool before trying a piece. As soon as I cut them up (you cut them pretty much right out of the oven) I tried to wrestle out a small piece. That turned into four pieces. And it was good.
I will have to say the chocolate flavor was nice but it wasn't this big POW of chocolate like I had envisioned. But I'm not really complaining. They are oh so good.