You can get creative with all your cookie-making at Christmas but don’t leave out the shortbread. It may be too late for this Christmas but the results are worth it. If you don’t have time, file it for next year.
I love cookies anytime. My baking favorites are thumbprint (with homemade jam centre), writer’s block (oatmeal, raisins & chai spices), chocolate chip (using 4 different kinds) and old-fashioned peanut butter.
A friend gave me this recipe (originally from Canadian Living) which is perked up with orange rind and partially dipped in chocolate. What can be better than orange & chocolate?
1 cup (250 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (125 ml) superfine sugar (like castor but I ended up using organic cane)
2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated orange rind
¼ (1 ml) tsp salt
2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. (45 ml) cornstarch
3 ½ oz (100 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, orange rind and salt until fluffy. Stir in flour and cornstarch to make a smooth dough.
Divide dough in half. Form each into 10-inch (25 cm) log. Wrap each and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Slice logs into ¼ inch (6 mm) thick rounds. Place, 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in 325 F oven until firm, about 15 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes, transfer to racks and let cool completely.
Coating: In heatproof bowl over sauce of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, let cool to room temperature. Tip: I put the chocolate in a small pot placed right in a steamer which lets it gently melt without burning. Try to use the best quality bulk chocolate you can find. I use Callebaut.
Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, gently shaking off any excess. Refrigerate on waxed paper-lined baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes. Makes about 30-35 cookies.