I have been searching for some time now for a chocolate shortbread recipe that made me happy. I mean, chocolate, shortbread, 2 of my favorite things–should be a marriage made in heaven, right? But many of them were on the dry side to me. Good example: these Carole Walter bars, which were good but not spectacular. And so I continued to search.
Until now, until Nick Malgieri. While I am sure I would be willing to try other recipes, given enough incentive, for now I have finally found a chocolate shortbread recipe I am happy with. These shortbread are delicate, but they do hold their shape (just warn small children to be careful) and their texture is meltingly tender-crumbly. Perfect. They are rich and chocolatey, and they are better the second day like all shortbread.
This recipe is different from other chocolate shortbread in 2 respects: it uses chocolate, not cocoa powder, and it only uses chocolate, no sugar. However, if, like me, you prefer a high percentage cacao chocolate, you might add, as I did, a teaspooon or 2 of powdered sugar (I used Scharffenberger 61%). Malgieri calls for the dough to be thoroughly chilled. I would amend that to a brief chilling–a thorough chilling rendered the dough way too stiff to roll out and I ended up slowly warming it in the microwave. The mini chocolate chips are all me–I just like that extra chocolate. I also subbed in the rice flour, a trick I learned from Carole Walter, although maybe that is why these turned out a little fragile.
2 cups (252 g) AP flour
1/3 cup rice flour (fluffed, spooned in and swept) (use AP if you don’t have)
1/2 t coarse sea salt
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled*
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
*If you are using a high percentage cacoa chocolate I recommend a teaspoon of powdered sugar to sweeten the cookies a bit.
Sift together the flours and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter just until smooth and soft. Add the cooled chocolate and mix thoroughly (Malgieri recommends by hand; I used a mixer). Add the sugar with this step if using. Add the flour and fold together until mixed thoroughly. Do not over mix. Scoop the dough out onto plastic wrap and pat it into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the dough securely and chill until it is firm enough to roll out–I would check at 30 minute intervals because mine quickly got too firm to roll out.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
On a surface dusted with powdered sugar, roll the dough out to 1/4-1/8 inch thick. Cut out the dough in desired shapes. Bake, rotating sheets if you bake more than 1 at a time, for 12-18 minutes. Be certain not to overbake–Malgieri warms they will be “lethally dry” if you do. They are done when they become dull and dry looking and feel slightly firm to the fingertip.