Friday, November 07, 2008

Chocolate Shortbread

I haven't shared a good recipe with you for a while... so here goes...

Chocolate Shortbread Bars

• Butter (for the pan)
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 4 egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3 cups flour
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Extra flour (for sprinkling)
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or 2 bars ( 2 ounces each) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely broken
• Granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
• Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)

Set the oven at 250 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Butter the paper. In a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, cream the butter. Add the granulated sugar a little at a time until it is well blended. Beat in the yolks and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry mixture into the butter mixture a little at a time until it is all incorporated. The dough will be sticky.

Place two-thirds of the dough in the pan. Using your fingertips, press it into an even layer. Flour your hands as you work. Prick the dough all over with a fork.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips of pieces over the dough to within 1/4 inch of the edges. Place clumps of the remaining dough around the perimeter of the chocolate, making a 1/2 inch border. Then scatter the remaining dough clumps to fill in the rectangle. You will still be able to see chocolate through the dough. With a lightly floured hand, pat the clumps gently all over to flatten them slightly. Sprinkle the dough lightly with granulated sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the pastry is pale golden. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool.

Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate just until the chocolate sets. Remove from the refrigerator and cut the pastry into bars, making 3 horizontal cuts and 4 vertical cuts.

Lift out the bars, sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar, and stack them on a plate.


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