Chocolate-Chunk Shortbread

When I saw this recipe for chocolate-chunk shortbread, I knew I couldn’t ignore it.  As a person who really loves to bake…I cannot make cookies to save my life! Every single time they are either flat as a pancake, bunt to a crisp, or rock hard, I just can’t seem to win. But, I saw a post from Tasty on how to make the perfect cookies by just changing up a few bad habits, and in doing that, I managed to make these beautiful, sugary, and buttery shortbreads without burning a single one! 

The recipe is from Dr. Oetker, it only uses 6 ingredients and you end up with 18 delicious shortbreads…trust me, 18 isn’t nearly enough, and the recipe is also eggless! 

Makes 18 

115g Unsalted Butter, softened 
50g Caster Sugar 
175g Plain Flour 
Pinch of Salt 
1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
100g Chocolate Chunks (you can buy chocolate chips but the chunks give a better look and melt better when baking)
3 tbsp Granulated Sugar (optional for topping) 

To start with, line a baking tray with a non-stick silicon baking sheet (I know sometimes these can be expensive but this was the first thing Tasty said to make better cookies, they’re also better for the environment than parchment paper and SUPER easy to clean, I got mine for £2 from Amazon but I did have to wait about a month for it to arrive!) if you don’t have a baking sheet, just grease the tray with butter. Put your softened butter and caster sugar in a bowl and mix until soft and creamy. 
Two more tips; Tasty suggested always softening the butter as it makes the mixture creamier (which is correct) and then using a flat paddle attachment with your electric mixer rather than a whisk attachment as it helps to break ingredients down more evenly, you should be able to see the attachment I was using and look at how smooth that butter is! 

Add the flour, salt, and vanilla extract and beat until you get a clumpy, soft dough. 

Now, just add in your chocolate chunks! Tasty suggested adding in the chunks and then only mixing a couple of times literally just to incorporate the chocolate into the dough, we don’t want to over-mix the dough. 

You should now have a pretty firm dough that you’re able to lift/ tip out the bowl with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes (very gently, this isn't like bread dough) until smooth. 

Now, roll the dough out to roughly 1 cm in thickness (because it’s shortbread, the biscuits can be a bit thicker than normal so you get that lovely buttery, crumbly texture).

Using a cookie cutter (I just used a round one but you can use whatever you want), stamp out 6 biscuits and place them on your tray, obviously if your tray is bigger then stamp out more, but leave a couple of cm between each one), re-roll as necessary to use up all the dough. 

Once your baking tray is full, prick the top of each shortbread with a fork so that it bakes more evenly, and then let them chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. At this point, I used up the rest of the dough and left the pre-cut shortbread on a wire rack until I had a free baking tray. In the last 10 minutes of chilling, you can preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan/ Gas Mark 4.

Once out of the fridge, pop the shortbread into the oven and allow them to bake for between 15-18 minutes until they take on a light golden colour. Let them cool on the tray for 2-3 minutes before coating them in granulated sugar and then allowing them to cool completely on a wire rack. 

And there are your shortbreads! Without sounding too big-headed I think these are the best biscuits I’ve ever made, the recipe was so simple and pretty quick too, the chocolate chunks made for a really gooey bite against the crumbly biscuit which just melted so well together and I was struggling to save some for my partner to try when he got home! I’ll definitely be making these again…mainly because I only made them yesterday and we only have 4 left, but also because I reckon you could have some fun playing around with the ingredients for these, you could add some peanut butter to your chocolate chunks or towards Christmas maybe swap the milk chocolate for white chocolate and throw in some dried cranberries! The possibilities are endless and with such a simple recipe with such basic ingredients, there’s no reason to not make them time and time again! 

H x 

...also, if you didn't know, I've been trying to make my own homemade vanilla extract just in time for Christmas this year! I've been updating the original blog post every couple of weeks to let you know what's going on, if you want to have a look at that too just click here