Eating In: Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Hearts
By Rachelle Bowden in Food on Feb 7, 2008 4:00PM
If your Valentine has a sweet tooth and you're looking for something special to make for him or her on the big day, this chocolate-dipped shortbread may be just the thing. These cookies only have six ingredients, all of which we had in our kitchen already. Score! Love it when that happens.
Traditionalists will want to leave the chocolate plain, but if your Valentine is a nut-lover, sprinkle some chopped nuts on before the chocolate dries. Or, to make these cookies fun for kids, or just fun in general, sprinkle on some multicolored non perils.
If you use a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, this recipe should make a few dozen hearts. Our cutter was pretty huge, so we only had enough dough for a dozen cookies, but really, how many cookies does your Valentine need?
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until combined. On slow speed, beat in flour and salt. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until 1/16-to-1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts with a heart cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to an ungreased baking sheet; chill for 30 minutes. (We also used a silicone baking mat, but it's not required if you don't have one.)
Heat oven to 300 degrees with a rack in the center. Press the tines of a fork into each cookie to make designs. Bake until just beginning to brown around the edges, about 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on a cooling rack. One tip we've learned is to put some waxed paper or parchment paper under the cooling racks so that you won't have a mess of crumbs, or later on so the chocolate, nuts, or sprinkles don't end up all over your counter.
In the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Or use our microwave method: just heat the chocolate in a bowl for a minute and then stir and keep heating while stirring every 20 seconds until all of the chocolate is melted.
Dip half or one third of each cookie into the chocolate mixture. If desired, sprinkle with nuts or non perils. Transfer cookies back to the cooling rack to dry.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days ... you know, because you've got better things to do on Valentine's Day night besides eat cookies (wink!).
Our recipe was adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe.