Sunday, December 20, 2009

[Cookie 054] Cocoa Shortbread Diamonds

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I see snow. Everywhere. It's ridiculous--totally, completely, absurdly over-the-top. And I'm not talking New York City snow; this is the results of a legit flurry.

This picture was on the front of the New York Times this morning--that's Central Park!

There's white (not brown) snow all over the sidewalks, piled on top of cars and bikes and fire hydrants, and all powdery and wonderful. Yesterday, when it just began to snow, my friends and I started to flip out when we saw the actual snowflakes on our jackets--so adorable and beautiful and amazing! But sure, it's really beautiful right now, but come Monday it will be disgusting and slushy and brown and icky. But until then, I can pretend that I'm living in a cozy cottage somewhere in the Alps, with a German Shepherd litter of kittens by my side, a fire roaring, a record player playing this song (please listen), and the smell of these Cocoa Shortbread Diamonds wafting from the kitchen.

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I think that these are really perfect winter cookies. Sure, they aren't spicey, gingerbready, or pepperminty or anything, but they have this great coziness in their flavor. Maybe it's because they are shortbread and are buttery and rich, which always brings to my mind cold winters; or maybe its because when they are in the oven the house smells completely divine and like hot chocolate; or maybe its because I got to use my tooth-shaped cookie cutter which I got for my birthday exactly one year ago. It could be any of those reasons.

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The recipe is dead easy, like most shortbread recipes, and even drizzling the melted white chocolate is super simple. I tried to decorate the first cookie, and failed miserably because I am absolutely awful at cookie decorating, but it was really easy to drizzle back and forth on top of the rest of the cookies and make them look totally professional. Unfortunately, the next day the white chocolate started to detach itself from the surface of the cookies, but hopefully you'll only be concerned with eating the cookies at this point.

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Now, if you want my honest and harsh opinion, I thought these were a tad on the boring side. They taste great and look great, but they are just chocolate shortbread. If you like rich chocolate cookies, make these straight away, but don't expect anything shocking or unusual. That's not a bad thing though--I'll take shocking and unusual snow storms any day over traditional, albeit a little boring, chocolate shortbread. Wait no, I'll take them both. Simultaneously. Thanks.

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Anyway, stay warm East Coasters! And I'll be sure to soak up some nice 68ยบ degree sunshine for you once I get to L.A.! Oh, and Happy Holidays! If you're thinking of giving cookies as gifts this season (which is a great, awesome, totally fab idea), these cookies package up really nice:

Grammy's Chocolate Cookies (wrap a stack with a ribbon or some cute striped bakers twine)
Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti (I had some issues cutting the biscotti, but they would make perfect Xmas cookies because of the green and red in the dough)
Amaretti Crisps (tie a ribbon through each loop--very Martha)
Rosemary Butter Cookies (stick a bunch in a mailing tube wrapped with a cool paper print)

Also, check out these boxes...perfect for shipping cookies cutely!

Now go! Get festive, or seasonal, or whatever you do.

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Cocoa Shortbread Diamonds
Makes about 14

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces best-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pulse flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and vanilla, and process until mixture comes together. Shape the dough into a ball.
  2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick; cut out shapes with a 3 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch diamond-shape cookie cutter. Space 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks.
  3. Melt white chocolate, stirring, in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Drizzle chocolate over tops of cookies. Let set before serving, about 30 minutes. Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 2/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
Tastiness: 4/5
Attractiveness: 4/5
Is it worth it?: Yes! Just don't expect anything crazy or out of the ordinary...it's a very basic recipe.

{Pairings}
Drink: MILK.
Song: Winter Wonder Land -- Animal Collective
Activity: Knitting, crocheting, or cross-stitching by the fire. Or if that's too femme for you, you could always go outside and chop some fire wood while the white chocolate icing is setting. Or build me an ice fortress in Central Park--your choice.

5 comments:

Kim said...

I love the tooth cookie cutter, pretty funny! This is the recipe to break out the good quality chocolate and just let it shine. I love chocolate shortbread.

screwdestiny said...

Oh my goodness, I don't think I've ever had chocolate shortbread, and I'm very sad about this because that just sounds awesome right now. I've gotta make these.

Dolce said...

I have a similar recipe and am not madly in love with them, but they make a nice giveaway and keep their shape pretty nicely.
Enjoy the warm LA weather for the holidays :)

Anonymous said...

MMMMNNNNN mn mn mn tooth

claire

Sam Kathryn said...

I love your cookie cutter! It's always nice to be unique :)