Friday, March 22, 2013

Organic Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies (with Gluten-Free Option)


I have loved traditional Scottish shortbread cookies since I travelled to Scotland 10 years ago.  I have only purchased imported shortbread cookies since then, until I was making a tart recipe recently and decided to eliminate the eggs and see what happened.  Voila!  I discovered that I had the perfect recipe for some tasty (and buttery!) shortbread cookies that can be dipped in a dark, milk or white organic chocolate.  They make a perfect not-too-so-sweet treat with your afternoon tea.
Below you will find the original 'organic' recipe option.  If you don't have access to organic ingredients, just make them with the usual stuff (i.e. regular unsalted butter, unbleached all-purpose flour, etc.).  You can also change up the sugar for low-glycemic coconut sugar, which does not seem to change the taste much. Or make these Gluten-Free cookies with gluten-free flour (see this alternative recipe below).
Kids love these too!  Just ask my 4-year old and my 20-month old toddler!
 
Recipe: Organic Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies (see Gluten-Free option below)
Ingredients (Organic):
·         1 pound / 454 grams of butter (organic)                                

·         ¾ cup of organic golden cane sugar (I used Camino’s)

·         4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (organic)

·         16 ounces of semi-sweet organic chocolate

You can also use 70% dark chocolate, or white or milk chocolate depending on your preference! For organic chocolate options in North America, see this list: http://www.ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2013/03/organic-and-fair-trade-chocolate-bars.html)

Baking Instructions:

1. Place flour and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (I use a KitchenAid mixer) and stir for a few seconds to mix the two dry ingredients together.  If your butter is not already softened or at room temperature, soften it for 20 seconds in the microwave.  Chop it up into ½ inch squares and while the mixer is on, toss it into the sugar/flour mixture. Mix until it becomes coarse crumbs or all starts to stick together.

2. Take the cookie dough out of the bowl and kneed it on the counter using a little flour to ensure it does not stick.  Roll it into a thin ball.  You can try to roll it out and make cookies now, but it may be too soft. If it is too soft, refrigerate it for 2 hours.  Take it out of fridge, break it up and kneed it for a minute to ensure it is all mixed together well.

3. Using flour to dust the surface of the dough and roll out the mixture to about 1/8 inch thick with a large a rolling pin. Use a cookie cutter or a glass to get the shape of the cookie that you want.  Using a flat lifter, place each cookie on a pan lined with a piece of parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes (check them at 10 minutes if you have a hot oven or if you have rolled the cookies very thin) and pull them out of the oven just before they brown.  If they still look moist or buttery in the centre, bake for another minute or two. Let cookies cool completely then dip them in the chocolate.

To Dip the Cookies in Chocolate:

1. Melt 12 ounces of chocolate over a double boiler (ensure no water droplets get in the chocolate!) or in the microwave for two minutes on HALF Power.  Use a digital thermometer to melt the chocolate to a temperature of 120 degrees F (for dark chocolate, 110 for milk chocolate and 105 for white chocolate). Cool quickly by adding another 4 ounces of solid chocolate to the mixture and stirring until it melts and reaches a temperature of 88 to 90 degrees and is about the same temperature as the back of your baby finger when you dip it in the chocolate (if it is too warm, throw in a tiny bit more chocolate and stir until it reaches the correct temperature).  Dip a piece of wax paper into the chocolate and then place the wax paper into the fridge for a few minutes.  If it is shiny and there are no streaks, the chocolate is in temper.

2. Dip ½ the cookie into the mixture and place on wax paper.  Set in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Seal in a container with an airtight lid.  If you are layering the cookies, be sure to place wax paper between the layers so as not to scratch or dull the chocolate.
Gift them!  Package each cookie individually in little clear bags as gifts or stocking stuffers. 

Make them prettier!  Temper some white chocolate, place in a small snack bag, cut a hole on the tip of one corner and make parallel lines on a diagonal over the cookies.  This will add a nice pattern and some colour contrasting.

 
Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookie Recipe:

Although we have no gluten intolerance in my family, I made these because my daughter just eats too much wheat now that she is in school (toast for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, Goldfish, etc – it all has wheat in it!), so I wanted to provide an alternative grain and a healthier ‘treat’ for her lunchbox. I used the Purely Bulk brand of gluten-free all purpose flour (www.purelybulk.com) with Chia and Sprouted Flax, but I am sure any brand will do. Although they do taste a little different than the ‘original’ recipe above, the kids still loved them!

Ingredients:

·         1 pound / 454 grams of butter (organic)                                

·         ¾ cup of organic coconut sugar (you can use regular cane sugar too!)

·         4 cups of gluten-free flour mix

·         16 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (or 70% dark chocolate, or white or milk chocolate depending on your preference!)

Baking Instructions:
Follow the same baking steps listed above in the Original Organic Recipe!

1 comment:

  1. mmmm - those look so good.

    ReplyDelete