Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.
– Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 4
These exquisite dark chocolate shortbread cookies are the dark-black, chocolatiest cookies I’ve ever had. They’re so dark and so chocolatey that they are almost too chocolatey. Yes, I just said that. They are almost too chocolatey. They’re darker than bittersweet chocolate. I’ve never encountered anything like them. This recipe is perfect … so perfect, in fact, that these cookies may not be for everybody. It may take something of an advanced palate to enjoy a cookie that’s gone this far to the dark side.
Are they Christmassy? Well … I don’t know. Is my black Christmas tree Christmassy? My black ornaments? These cookies do look fantastic on a cookie plate, and you could easily cut them into Christmas shapes … stars, for instance – which you could decorate with crushed candy cane.
What you need to make ca. 18 cookies:
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted (5 oz.)
2 Tbs chocolate liqueur (1.25 oz.)
1½ cups AP flour (4.125 oz. bread flour plus 3.375 cake flour)
¾ cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder (2.5 oz.)
1/3 cup cacao nibs (2 oz.), crushed (in a Ziploc, with a rolling pin)
¼ tsp kosher salt
Paddle butter to fluffy, 3 min. Mix in sugar just until blended. Add liqueur. Whisk flour, cocoa, nibs, salt. Add flour mixture in three additions. Form a disc, wrap it, and chill it for 1 hour or more than a week. Pre-heat to 325ºF. Prep sheet with Silpat or parchment. Roll shortbread to ¼-inch and cut cookies. Bake 8 min., rotate pan, and bake 8-10 min. Cool. Draw a design with melted white chocolate, royal icing, or a powdered sugar glaze. Optionally, sprinkle your chocolate/icing/glaze with white sanding sugar.
Note: I found cacao nibs at my favorite local grocery store, in the section where they sell sports supplements and Mayan superfoods, yeah, you know … that aisle. Cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks, and broken into smaller pieces. This is the first step in making chocolate, so if you eat cacao nibs, you’re eating chocolate in it’s least-processed form. Apparently, they’re good for you. They taste like chocolate, sort of, but much earthier and with decidedly coffee overtones.
Exquisite Dark Chocolate Shortbread
This content was not solicited, sponsored, or written in exchange for anything. (This recipe is a modification of one from “Intensely Chocolate,” by Carole Bloom.)
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