Monday, December 6, 2010

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Anyone who knew Kelly, knows these cookies.  It was one of her favorites to bake and give as gifts--birthdays, Christmas, or just to cheer you up.  I came up with this recipe back in the 80s when we lived in California. My reason for making this recipe up was that I would bake them to ship back East to my family and I knew they'd still be delicious, weeks later.  In fact, a few years ago, this was the recipe I chose to make for a package going to Iraq for a dear friend's husband who was stationed there.

Today, I thought about these cookies after seeing our grandson Ari playing in his first snow of the season. Just a few inches, but  like Peter in Snow Day, Ari went through the motions of doing everything Peter does on that day.
The cookies are dusted (like the dusting of snow) with confectioners' sugar and would be the perfect snack with cocoa after a day of activities outside in the snow.

I made a few changes in the recipe, but I'll give you both ways and let you create a cookie, not only for baking ahead of time during the busy holiday, but for your little snowmen who need a comforting snack after a Snow Day!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups Confectioners' Sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Vanilla bean, split and the seeds scraped out (optional)
4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
12 oz. Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips  (or 2 cups Bitter Sweet chips)

Preheat oven 350F-degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat.

In the KitchenAid (preferrably the 6qt size) using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.  Scrape down the sides.  Add the confectioners' sugar, one-half cup at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides again.  Add the vanilla extract and if using, the seeds of the vanilla bean. Beat to combine.

Add the salt and the flour, again one-half cup at a time and beat well.  Add the mini chocolate chips or the Bittersweet, which was my preference this morning. Mix until the chips are fully incorporated in the dough.

Scoop up "walnut-size" balls and place on the baking sheet.  When I use the mini chocolate chips I take a fork and do a criss-cross on the cookies to flatten slightly.  

Today, using the larger bittersweet chips, I merely used my fingers and pressed down slightly on the tops to flatten slightly.  Bake 12-14 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  Cool slightly on the cookie sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.  

I think Kelly loved these cookies because they have a dusting of "snow" (confectioners' sugar) on top.  If you don't have a shaker, you can make one.  I used an empty jam jar, filled it with confectioners' sugar, then, covered the opening with a double layer of cheesecloth.  Place the ring over the opening and screw in place.  

Just tap on the bottom of the jar to dust your cookies.

I know Kelly's friends loved these cookies and were always happy to received them and so will your family and friends.  Enjoy!



  1. great idea for the sugar duster! I can come up with that and don't even have to go out to buy anything - love it!

  2. Shortbread is one of my favorites pairing that with chocolate chips sounds incredible! This is such a beautiful post Susan with the dusting of sugar on the cookies to the dusting of snow sweet little ari is playing in. I will write these cookies into my journal and think of Kelly each winter when I bake them. xoxo

  3. I'm adding this one to my baking list....they looks wonderfully yummy!

  4. these look fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing...

  5. Susan your little Ari is so adorable. I love that you share photos of him, he's growing up too fast. Little boys are so precious. Hold on tight, before you know it he will be off to kindergarten, college, then married with children of his own! Ask me how I know! LOL! In the blink of an eye my boys were leaving home and now my beautiful granddaughter is 14 and taller than her grandma!

    These cookies look positively yummy. My Edd loves shortbread and sugar cookies and dark chocolate. I know he will love this combination.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful family stories and your awesome recipes.

    I'm thinking of you every day and holding you close to my heart.

    With love and warm hugs, -mary

  6. Ohhhhh! These look amazing! I will be making soon for sure!! I am looking for a homemade hot chocolate recipe... Do you have one to share?

    It was so nice chatting the other night. We were just like peas and carrots again. :)

    Love you! xoxo

  7. I am defintiely going to make a batch of these gluten free. They sound perfect with hot chocolate. Now if only I can find some snow to go with them!

    Breakfast in bed sounds great, Mama. Sounds like a plan ;) I love reading Ari's little updates and his little snow creature.


  8. i love seeing that photo of ari. xo.