Monday, November 2, 2009

More Shortbread Experiments

I continue to play with my shortbread. This last experiment was chocolate-flavoring.

Some time ago, I found a chocolate extract at a local grocery store. Chocolate extract isn't something many recipes call for, but I thought it might be interesting to substitute it for vanilla or mint in some recipes. I haven't done so (yet).

This week I was headed to a games night at a friends. We each provide a dish and I was planning shortbread. Well, another friend called for a ride and let me know she was planning to do shortbread cookies. Hmm, I needed something to make the shortbread rather different. Time to get out the chocolate extract!

Chocolate Shortbread Recipe
1 lb of unsalted butter
1-1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar (or caster’s sugar) – do not use granulated
4 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt (optional – I often leave it out)
2 teaspoons chocolate extract
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Cream together the sugar and butter until the butter is light and airy. Do not over-cream. Mix in the flour. I usually use a stand mixer, so I add it in ½ cup increments to keep my kitchen from being flour-coated.

Put in to 9-inch cake pans or a 13-inch baking dish. I used a 12" two-piece flan pan. Decorate the top with the chocolate chips - given the season, I decorated the top like a spiderweb. Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes. The edges should just be beginning to turn brown.

The extract messed with the fluid balance a little bit. I think next time I will add about a 1/4 cup more flour to help offset it.

I should have baked it a little longer - the chocolate made the dough a little more brown from the outset. I pulled it about three minutes or so before it was as done as I liked. However, the dough was cooked and set, just a little more moist than preferred. The chocolate flavoring came through subtly, yet distinctly.

Overall, this was a success, but one that needs fine-tuning.

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