Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vanilla Shortbread with Cocoa Nibs

om nom nom indeed
I've had this in my mind for a while. Vanilla shortbread cookies studded with cocoa nibs. Mostly inspired by Taza Chocolate, which is a local chocolate factory here in Somerville, MA that makes a variety of flavors of chocolate in a traditional mexican style using organic and ethically sourced ingredients. You can order from them online, and they also have a factory store that does tours (but no ooompa loompas).

Also, I'm sort of obsessed with vanilla beans now.

So I went to The Joy of Baking site and adapted their shortbread cookie recipe by adding half a cup of chocolate covered cocoa nibs and using the seeds from 1 vanilla bean instead of a teaspoon of vanilla.

Shortbread Cookies:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar

seeds from 1 vanilla bean


Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick circle. Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

to decorate them, I melted some semisweet chocolate and put it in a ziploc baggie. Then I snipped the corner and used it to pipe some shapes.

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