I was in a shortbread mood. But what kind of shortbread would I make? I contemplated caramel shortbread, chocolate caramel shortbread, chocolate chip shortbread, oatmeal shortbread, oatmeal chocolate chip shortbread, lemon shortbread, lemon rosemary shortbread… and I kept going around and around in circles until, in a fluster, I decided, screw it, I’m just going to make plain old Scottish Shortbread.
Buttery, crumbly, and with a meltingly rich texture, you can’t go wrong with a four-ingredient classic. Of course, you can go wrong when trying to add to a classic.
I had the grand idea of dipping my shortbread in chocolate. You can never go wrong with chocolate! …Unless your chocolate completely seizes partway through dipping. You know that moment when you’re stirring the chocolate and thinking, “Is it just me or is this getting stiffer…oh, no…it can’t be…NOOOO”? That’s what pure dread feels like.
After mourning the death of my chocolate (may it rest in peace), I realized that I could make assorted shortbread! I went with fine pink sugar, powdered sugar, and a combination of the two. I predicted that the order of popularity would be chocolate, the combo, powdered sugar, and lastly pink sugar. After monitoring my colleagues’ shortbread selections throughout the day, I have the official results! Chocolate was most popular (duh), followed by pink sugar, powdered sugar, and the combo in last. Surprising.
Instead of dipping, you can also spoon the chocolate dip over the shortbread so that you don’t get crumbs falling in while you dip. I recommend taking the chocolate-butter mixture off the heat once it has melted to reduce the chance of seizing. Although there are many tips out there on how to un-seize chocolate, the un-seized chocolate is unsuitable for dipping. You can still bake with it though.
The original shortbread recipe can be found here. Simple, delicious, and a breeze to make.
Chocolate-Dipped Scottish Shortbread
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to blend.
Cut butter into large chunks and add to food processor. Whiz for about 1 minute, until dough has a very sandy and starts to clump together. Pour into a 9-inch square pan and spread into an even layer. Use a flat-bottomed glass to press down the dough firmly, creating as smooth a surface as possible.
Score dough lightly with a knife into desired number of pieces. Prick the dough with a fork.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until shortbread is lightly browned all over.
While the shortbread is still hot, use a sharp knife to cut shortbread all the way through along the lines you scored prior to baking. Allow shortbread to cool completely once it has been cut. When cool, shortbread pieces should break apart very easily. Store in an airtight container.
Chocolate Dip: Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Dip each shortbread piece into the chocolate to coat, letting the excess drip off. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let sit at room temperature until chocolate is set.