The simplicity of shortbread has made me resistant in the past. Flour, butter, and sugar are really all that's needed, and voilà, you have shortbread. And salt, if you want to get wild.
I've always steered towards cookies with more going on: chocolate chip oat cookies, cranberry orange cookies, or even simple sugar cookies with extravagant frosting. Yet, there's something appealing about shortbread. Perhaps it's the Scottish heritage or the annual holiday appearance that makes it seem quite special despite its simplicity.
When the ladies of The Modern Proper invited me to join them for the #calmandbrightcookienight baking party, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take the humble shortbread to the next level. And make it a bit healthier in the process. I recently discovered the ingenuity of Bob's Red Mill organic ivory wheat flour, wholesome and yet without the usual density of standard wheat flours, making it ideal for baking. Dark chocolate adds extra sweetness, as well as antioxidants. A sprinkling of unsalted pistachios are not only pretty and delicious, but also contributes to the daily handful of nuts that researchers are now recommending.
Visit The Modern Proper or search the #calmandbrightcookienight hashtag on Instagram for dozens of other cookie recipes. And if you're looking for further inspiration for your sweet tooth, and happen to live in the Portland area, make sure to stop by Pip's on Sunday, December 18 6-9pm for a bake sale and fundraiser for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization. There will be items on sale from bakers, chefs, and bloggers, as well as raffle items and wine.
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
2 cups ivory wheat flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp fine salt
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1½ cups dark chocolate chips
½ cup unsalted Wonderful pistachios
½ tsp fleur de sel
Heat oven to 300°F. Lightly butter two 9-inch springform pans. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly add in the butter and work it into the dry ingredients with your hands until it resembles coarse meal. Work dough into two balls and slowly press each into a springform pan until smooth. Bake for 45 minutes or until light golden brown.
Once the shortbread has finished baking, let cool in pan at least 30 minutes. Carefully remove from pan and flip over. With a serrated bread knife, cut each shortbread into 8 equal pieces with a sawing motion. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the round. Flip over once again.
Add the chocolate chips to a small bowl. Place the bowl over a small pot filled halfway with water over medium heat. When the chocolate chips begin to melt, stir until smooth. Let cool slightly and then dip each shortbread cookie into the chocolate until well covered. Place on a cooling rack with baking paper underneath and sprinkle with pistachios and fleur de sel. Cool completely until chocolate is set.
Alternatively, you can leave the shortbread whole, covering the entire round with chocolate for a cake-like appearance. Serve by cutting into pieces with a sharp knife.
This post was sponsored by The Wonderful Co. Thank you for reading!