Because A Friday Treat is the Perfect Way to End the Week!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Chocolate Orange Shortbread

This week we’re entering the vast and varied world of biscuits. While they may not be the most difficult thing in the world to bake, everyone loves a biscuit of some kind or other. Personally I’m really partial to an oat and raisin cookie, a custard cream, a digestive and possibly my favourite, shortbread.

I have searched and searched for the perfect shortbread recipe, at one point last year I was trying a new one every few days. Some were too sweet, some were too savoury, some fell to pieces while rolling and others lost all shape when cooking to turn into puddles or shortbreadyness. It’s really annoying considering half of my family are Scottish and I have yet to receive any form of traditional family recipe that’s been handed down through the generations! The recipe I eventually found, from which this recipe has been adapted, was one I used last Valentine’s Day to make shortbread hearts (awwww) and actually turned out ok! I’m still not 100% sure it’s the perfect recipe but it’s still really good both by itself and with chocolate orange.

As far as the difficulty level of this recipe goes, it’s fairly simple. The only slightly annoying part is having to chill the dough which obviously is not difficult, it just means you have to wait an extra 30 minutes to get the sweet, delicious smell of baking cookies wafting through your house. 

Some final tips before you get started:

  • If you have an electric standing mixture, using it will make this recipe come together much faster. I usually would but like to do everything by hand for this blog, just so I cater for everyone!
  • As I said before, this recipe is very much straight-forward and easy. The only tip I can really think to give is about rolling your dough after it’s been chilled. I got this tip from a pastry tutorial I read on Smitten Kitchen, one of my favourite food blogs. It basically just involves going crazy with the flour you use to prevent your dough from sticking to your surface. Use as much flour as you need to stop the dough from sticking and just brush off any excess flour before cooking. It sounds obviously simple but that’s probably what makes it a great tip. You’ll never be stuck scraping dough off your work surface again!

Chocolate Orange Shortbread

175g Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
100g Caster Sugar
½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp. Grated Orange Zest
260g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
150g Dark Chocolate

Makes 20 (although this will vary, depending on your cookie cutter)

1)      In a large bowl, cream together the butter and unsalted butter until just combined. To this mixture add the vanilla extract and grated orange zest and stir.
2)      Into this bowl, sift in the flour and salt and stir until the dough starts to come together. Use your hands to bring the dough into a ball, and flatten into a disc.
3)      Wrap this disc in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 180◦C. Once chilled, roll out the dough on a floured surface until around 1cm thick.
4)      Using your cookie cutter of choice, cut out your biscuits and place on an ungreased baking sheet before sprinkling with caster sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes or until slightly golden brown before removing to cool completely.
5)      While cooling, melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl resting over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the biscuits are cool, dip into the melted chocolate horizontally so half is covered in chocolate. Place on a cooling rack and leave for the chocolate to set completely.


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