Traditional Christmas cookies aren't exactly my thing. If you're making them for a large number of people, it can be a pain to try to cut out each one and decorate them all. Last year, I came across a shortbread cookie recipe that turned out so well I decided to make it again this year with a little variety. The best part about these is you really can top them with anything you like, from candy, to nuts, to something a little less traditonal like pretzels. My personal favorite is the peppermint. If you can't decide, just double the recipe like I did and make two varieties, or go half and half.
Yes, this recipe does call for a lot of butter. It's totally worth it. And you are making these for someone else, so just don't reveal the recipe.
Dark Chocolate Shortbread
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups dark chocolate chips (semi-sweet Ghirardelli works best)
Toppings: 3 large crushed peppermint candy canes or 1 1/2 cups crush pretzels
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
- Add in vanilla and egg until fully combined.
- Slowly mix in flour.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a nonstick baking mat – this is definitely a necessary step. Spread the dough out onto the cookie sheet evenly, using the palms of your hands. The dough should completely cover the pan. To flaten out the dough, you can also use a large spoon sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Then, remove pan from the oven and sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips. Put it back into the oven for a few minutes until the chocolate is just melted.
- Remove pan from the oven and evenly spread the chocolate. Immediately add on your topping – as much or as little as you want. Feel free to omit this step if you just want a plain, traditional shortbread.
- Allow the shortbread to thoroughly cool. I'd recommend putting it in the freezer for about half an hour so you don't have chocolate everywhere. Then, cut it with a pizza cutter or small knife and enjoy!