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.
Adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Cookies Unlimited
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.
If we don't opt for rice flour, is the amount of all-purpose the same?
These make me think of the World Peace cookies! They look yummy!
Yes–I changed the recipe to indicate that. Malgieri calls for a total of 2 1/3 cups AP flour.
What does the rice flour accomplish?
noble pig says
Sounds very yummy, a chocolate shortbread taste…yum.
Amy: according to Carole Walter, whose Scottish shortbread cookie is my favorite, it makes the texture “velvety” and that is all she says. However, Malgieri, in his Scottish shortbread recipe (which I have tried, and which was good the 2nd day but not the first and not as good as Walter’s IMHO), says that rice flour is used to lower the protein content of the dough because in large scale industrial batches the dough needs to be worked for too long to incorporate all the ingredients, thus producing gluten which in turn produces tough cookies. He claims the home cook has no such risk and thus does not call for rice flour.
I should clarify I have no idea if even industrial baking uses rice flour in CHOCOLATE shortbread, but I decided to try.
This is just Laura’s dime store instinct talking 😉 but since the recipes all say things like do not overwork, I say just use the rice flour and prevent the problem. I keep white rice flour on hand purely for shortbread. If anyone tries it with only AP check back and let us know how it turned out!
That Girl says
My chocolate shortbread recipe uses chocolate, not cocoa powder, but it does include sugar.
Of course, it also calls for dipping the cookie in chocolate – which is why they don’t last for long in my house.
Sara @ Our Best Bites says
mmm…chocolate and short bread. Two of my favorite things!
magnificent cookies, informative post. i love your cookie cutter shape, too–very spring-appropriate.
and yes, i do watch lost, it battles friday night lights for my top spot. the finale was stellar.
These cookies look really good…love the idea of using rice flour, to minimize gluten content. Another thing that I really like is the shape of it. Really nice.
Your shortbread looks wonderful. So pretty….I just made some last week with chocolate and orange and it certainly didn’t last long. Sooo good!
I feel so left out. I have never had chocolate shortbread. I shall now rectify that – and shall look for the requisite rice flour. And Nick Malgieri is amazing. These are scrumptious.
Uh oh, there's a cookie cookbook that I don't have?? I must check this one out 🙂
Your house is looking great! You must be so excited to see everything coming together. Though your yard/view is already gorgeous, it will be even more so as those bushes & trees grow in. You're SO lucky!
Mmmm, those cookies look so delicious! <3