Let the holiday baking begin! I had all of the ingredients for these Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies in my pantry, so they became the product of a lazy afternoon spent avoiding the 20º temperatures outside. This recipe was adapted from a recent feature I read in The Washington Post about the simplicity of shortbread and the quest for the perfect balance of butter, sugar and flour. I’ve added a festive touch to these classic cookies by dipping them in semisweet chocolate and crushed candy canes. Keep ‘em classic or get festive with your favorite melted chocolate and toppings.
Brown Sugar Shortbread
Yield: Approx. 18 cookies
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for greasing the pan
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup crushed candy canes
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Grease a 9"x13" baking pan with unsalted butter.
Combine the butter, sugar and brown sugar in a mix-master (or use a hand-held mixer) and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, or just until blended. Add the vanilla extract and salt and beat just until incorporated.
Add the flour in two increments, beating just until incorporated.
Transfer the dough to the greased pan, using your hands to press it into an even layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown (do not underbake!).
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the shortbread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread into your desired cookie shape while they are still in the pan. Let cool completely.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until melted.
Coat a side of the cooled cookies into the chocolate and top immediately with the crushed candy canes.