Thursday 17 December 2015


These shortbread look so good!! Thanks Connie! Pop into the Bridgetown Library today and get one before they are all gone. You will find this recipe in Baking for Friends by Kathleen King.

Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour,
  plus, more for rolling and cutting out the dough
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ pound salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
Grated zest of 1 orange
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1.      To make the shortbread, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer set on high speed until combined, about 1 minute.  Beat in the egg, followed by the orange zest, orange juice and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture just until combined.
2.      Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a thick disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.  (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  If it is too firm to roll out, let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes to soften slightly.)

3.      Position the oven racks in the top third and centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
4.      Working with 1 disk at a time, briefly knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth.  Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.  Dip a 2 ½-inch round cookie cutter or another shape of a similar size in flour and cut out cookies, cutting them as close together as possible to avoid excess scraps.  Arrange the rounds about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Gather up the dough scraps and gently knead together, and cut out more cookies.  If the dough becomes too soft to roll out, refrigerate until chilled.  Refrigerate any remaining dough while you bake the first batch.
5.      Bake, rotating the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges and bottoms, about 20 minutes.  The cookie tops will not brown, but do not under bake them, or they lack flavour.  Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.  Transfer to wire cooling racks and let cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining cough, on cooled baking sheets.
6.      To dip the cookies, line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.  Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe medium bowl.  Heat the chocolate on Medium (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals, until fully melted.  Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has cooled to 89 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.  Place the bowl in another bowl of hot tap water to keep it warm enough for dipping, being careful not to splash water into the melted chocolate.
7.      One at a time, dip one half of each cookie into the chocolate.  Drag the bottom of the cookie across the rim of the bowl to remove excess chocolate, and place the cookie on the baking sheet.  If the chocolate cools and thickens, warm in the microwave for 15 seconds at Medium.  Let the cookies stand until the chocolate sets and they can be easily lifted from the baking sheet, about 1 hour.

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