It’s not the star drooping slightly at the top of our Christmas tree. It’s not the multi-colored packages spilling out beneath it. It’s not the lights winking at me as I walk down the street. It’s not even the snow lying (ever-so-sparsely) on the ground. When it comes to Christmastime at my family’s house, the most anticipated, highly demanded and absolutely necessary component to making Christmas feel like Christmas is…homemade Chocolate-Covered Shortbread.
It’s a tradition.
It’s loved by all, even Santa (I have photographic evidence to prove he ate some).
And it’s the cookie I chose to make for the 2013 Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I hope the bloggers I mailed these to enjoyed them, I sure loved the frosted sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies I got.
You can top these bad boys with just about any candy you want, but we stick to peppermint, and I fight tooth and nail for one entire batch to be topped with rainbow sprinkles. I do not share. The tried and true recipe pops up on a stained recipe card in my family’s kitchen once every, oh…maybe six years. So on the off years we trust our gut and make the recipe as close to tradition as possible. Here is this year’s attempt.
Makes ~a dozen
3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6-7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
4 candy canes, pounded to small pieces (or a topping of your choice)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Mix butter and 1 cup sugar together in electric mixer until just combined. Add almond extract. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch and salt, then add them to butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together. Dump onto a flour-dusted surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into a 1/2-inch thick round and fit into an ungreased pie dish. Score dough into pie-shaped wedges and poke dough several times with a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Cool to room temperature.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a heavy saucepan on low heat. Spread evenly over the top of cookie round and sprinkle crushed candy canes over top Cut through the pre-scored dough and place cookies on a plate to let cook. Eat up, and repeat!