Chocolate Shortbread is quick and easy to make - made it in a baking tin, there's no rolling out.
Shortbread is a versatile sort of biscuit so it's easy to add your favourite flavours and extras. This recipe is particularly simple because you just press the mixture into a baking tray and cut up when it's just out of the oven and still soft. I like to make these little squares, but you could cut the shortbread into fingers instead if you want a bigger biscuit.
A Word about Cocoa
To a large extent with cocoa, you get what you pay for. You can use any cocoa powder for this recipe, but don't use drinking chocolate - it won't be strong enough and it contains sugar and milk powder, so it will affect the bake. My favourite at the moment is Green & Black's cocoa, which is strong and gives a good flavour.
Okay, more than one word about cocoa, but it is important - remember to sieve the cocoa powder. Although I don't bother with flour and icing sugar, unless they're obviously clumpy (usually because the packet has been open too long), cocoa always needs sieving.
Icing Sugar on the Top?
If you don't bother, it won't hurt, but I do like the contrast. If these Chocolate Shorbread biscuits are going in a lunchbox you may want to leave the icing sugar off to create less mess.
No Rolling Out
Shortbread hates being handled - it can quickly become tough and oily. Pressing it into a tin, and cutting it up when cool, avoids all that, so it's ideal for beginner bakers or anyone in a hurry.
- Kenwood Hand Mixer – My old hand mixer – also a Kenwood – finally gave up the ghost after about 25 years. I replaced it last year with this model and it’s a joy to use - so sometimes I don't use my stand mixer
- Splatter lid – Once again this has saved my kitchen surfaces from being covered in flour. The lid covers the mixing bowl with a hole to put the beater(s) through, keeping the ingredients safely in place.
IF YOU LIKE THIS..
Why don’t you try:
- 250 g butter at room temperature
- 200 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, rounded tbsp (30g)
- 75 g semolina
- 320 g plain/all-purpose flour
- Large pinch baking soda
- Pinch salt
- Icing sugar to finish
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas mark 4/ 350°F
- Line the tin with baking parchment or magic liner or lightly grease with butter
- Sieve the cocoa powder.
For the Chocolate Shortbread:
- Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together with a hand mixer or stand mixer
- Add the flour, semolina, sieved cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix slowly until all the ingredients are combinedDon’t overwork the dough or it will go oily
- Put the dough into the baking tin and spread out, using your fingers to push it into the corners. Flatten with the back of a spoon then use the edge of the spoon to pull down any excess from the sides of the tin
- Cook the shortbread for 30 minutes or until firm to the touch
- While it's still hot, cut the shortbread carefully into 16 fingers or 32 squares
- Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan and remove to a wire cooling rack until completely cool
- Dust with icing sugar before serving.
- You could cut the biscuits into 16 fingers if you want a larger piece
- If you don't have any semolina, add the extra weight in flour
- Store for up to a week in an airtight tin