Honey Lavender Sea Salt Shortbread with Dark Chocolate
Today is December 9th and the perfect day for holiday baking in CO. We got a fresh 6 inches of snow last night. And it really feels like Christmas is coming! I love holiday baking. It takes me back to baking with my mom when I was a kid. To this day, she goes all out with her holiday cookie baking. Unfortunately for me, she has set a very high bar for these seasonal treats. My kids look forward to it every year. I don't put any pressure to get the scores of recipes done that she does, but I have to make a few at least. One of my favorites is shortbread. What I like about it is that it's not overly sweet and goes so well with coffee and tea. And I like to try slight changes in the dough to add a little pizazz. There are so many fun things you can try like citrus, spice, herbs, chocolate, nuts, dried fruit...so many things. I like crumbly and crispy shortbread, not cakey and soft. So I find that using my butters with shortbread is really fun. Today I used honey lavender sea salt with a dark chocolate drizzle. Omg! They are so good!
The recipe could not be easier. It's all about the butter/flour ratio. I adapted this recipe from Melissa Clark on the NY Times cooking site.
2 Cups all purpose flour (if you're GF you can sub rice flour and almond flour, but read up on the ratios for your crumb size vs. cakey texture)
2/3 Cup granulated sugar ( I use 1/3 cup honey as I don't like it too sweet)
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter (1 cup is a lot--I subbed my honey lavender sea salt butter in here- you'll need 6.5 butter bursts)
1/2 pouch of dark chocolate chunks or chips
Heat over to 325. Pulse in a food processor the flour, sugar (or honey) and salt. Cut the cold butter into chunks and add to the food processor. Pulse a few more times to get the dough to some together. Go slow so you don't over process. You want crumbs. If you don't have a food processor you can always use a large mixing bowl, two knives or a pastry cutter.
2. Scrape with a spatula into an 8x8"sq baking dish or 9" round pie plate. Using your hands press into an even layer onto the ungreased pan. Prick with a fork all over with a fork. Put into the oven for 40 minutes for 8 inch or 45 min for 9 inch pan.
3. Take out of the oven when the shortbread has a golden crust. Set on a wire cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into squares, rectangles or wedges depending on the shape of your pan. Do this while its still warm or else it gets too crumbly.
If you are so inclined to do a drizzle over the top, either white or dark chocolate works great. Get a double boiler going and melt half a bag of either. When the chocolate is melted transfer to a piping bag. Drizzle over the top of your shortbread and enjoy with your favorite hot beverage! sizzle. spread. boom.