Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

If you’ve never had a shortbread cookie before, the best way to describe them is “buttery” and “decadent.”  They definitely are more of a traditional holiday cookie, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with tradition.  These classic cookies get jazzed up with just the tiniest dip in chocolate 🙂

…Or a large dip.  Your preference.

This is a slightly modified Ina Garten recipe.

Just a few things about Ina:

I learned this weekend that she pronounces her name eee-na, not eye-na.  Guess I’ve been saying that wrong for the last few years…Oops.  While I have absolutely no doubts as to Ina’s culinary talent, sometimes I find her recipes a little snobby and pompous.  Listen, not every one can afford or has access to “only the finest chocolate” made from your Hamptons next-door neighbor Swiss Chocolatier.

I’d love to run into her at some place like a Jimmy Johns one day, just to prove that even she eats “commoner” food like the rest of us, from time to time.

The original recipe states that you should use a 3×1 inch cookie cutter, or in the alternative “you can cut the shortbread into rectangles using a fluted pastry wheel for decorative edges or simple cut with a butter knife..”

Right.  Because I have time to go in and personally design each cookie with a butter knife…. Seriously, if I want to make my shortbread look like a snowman or a candy cane, I’m pretty sure the Shortbread police aren’t going to come after me for shaping the cookie incorrectly.

(this is just the surface of my love/hate relationship with Ina Garten…)

Enough of that.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and fit your electric mixer with a paddle attachment.  Combine together the butter and sugar until just combined.  Then add the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, and add to the butter/sugar mixture.  Mix on low-speed until the dough starts to come together.

Empty the dough mixture on to a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat, 1-inch thick disk.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes until firm.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness.  If you have a favorite “shortbread shape” use that and cut out the cookies from the dough.  I used holiday themed shapes 🙂

Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until cookies are lightly browned on the edges.  The original recipe recommends 20 to 25 minutes, but my oven was faster so make sure you watch the first batch to determine proper timing.  Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature.

Lucy, my sous chef (secretly hoping I drop something!)

Once cooled, place the cookies on a parchment lined surface.  Put 3 ounces of chocolate in the microwave and power for 30 second intervals, with stirring in between, until melted and smooth.  Alternatively, I just threw my chocolate in a double boiler until it was melted.

Drizzle or dip the cookies with chocolate to your liking.  Of course, the chocolate isn’t really necessary at all, but I think they add an interesting, modern twist to a classic recipe.

Let the cookies sit until the chocolate has firmed up, about 20 minutes.  Then enjoy!


  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped

Yields about 3 dozen cookies

Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten, 2008

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Cookies, Recipes, Sweets

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