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 20ºF temperatures outside.
This recipe was adapted from a recent feature 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 sprinkling them with crushed candy canes. Keep ‘em classic or get festive with your favorite crushed candy toppings.
Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
Yield: Approx. 18 cookies
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus more for greasing pan)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup crushed candy cane pieces
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with unsalted butter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and salt and beat just until combined.
Add the flour in two increments, beating just until combined.
Transfer the dough to the greased pan, and using your hands, press it into an even layer.
Bake the shortbread for 25 to 30 minutes until pale golden brown.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the shortbread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Remove the shortbread from the pan, and using a sharp knife, cut it into wedges or any other desired shape. (The shortbread must still be slightly warm while you're cutting it so that it doesn't break.) Let the shortbread cookies cool completely.
In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and vegetable oil and melt them in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
Dip one side of the cooled cookies into the chocolate and top the chocolate immediately with the crushed candy canes. Let cool until the chocolate hardens fully then serve.