Anyway, when the weather hit lows of 10*, I started chugging hot chocolate like it was going out of style. Something about winter time and camping turns it into a lifeline for me. Chocolate, warmth, memories, and chocolate. And you know what's even better? Shortbread cookies to dip in that hot chocolate. I love the way they almost disintegrate in your drink and melt in your mouth. Maybe that's not as appealing for you, but I don't know who you are.
I usually just buy cheap shortbread cookies at the grocery store, but as I've been bit by some home-making-baking bug, I decided to search Pinterest for every shortbread cookie recipe I had the patience to check out. I found a couple that seemed easy enough, then sort of adjusted as I saw fit. I'm not very good at following recipes unless they're very complicated and demand my attention.
Simple Shortbread Cookie Recipe
adapted from Dine & Dish
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup (ie. 2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 pinch kosher (or whatever kind you have) salt
- 1 generous dash real vanilla extract (I make my own)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat over to 350*F
Cream together 3/4 cup powdered/confectioners sugar with 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter. Add a pinch of kosher salt (about 1/8 teaspoon), and a generous splash of real vanilla (maybe a tablespoon). Mix in 2 cups all purpose flour. The texture will be very dry, and sort of like play-doh. I then rolled the dough out into a log the approximate diameter that I was hoping for my cookies to turn out. Super easy, I then used a sharp knife to slice 1/4" wheels off the log, placing them on my cookie sheet (I use a silpat baking mat similar to this one, but if you don't have one, I'd recommend using parchment paper. It makes all my cookies better.) Once your cookie sheet is full slide it onto the center rack in your oven and bake for about 15 minutes, possibly more based on your oven and altitude. You want the bottoms to be a nice golden brown, but you don't want the sides or top to get too much color. This is already a dry cookie - you don't want to make it overly dry and crispy.
Let cool on pan 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. And if your cookies crumble, just make a parfait.
Seriously, though, these are amazing with a good cup of hot chocolate. And if you're feeling an especially strong tug from your sweet tooth, throw some chocolate chips in a bowl into the microwave for about a minute or two, stir well, then dip your cookies into the chocolate. Let cool completely on wax paper, then enjoy!
They're already gone as I'm typing this. I should make more. What are some of your favorite cold weather treats?