Friday, January 4, 2013

Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Sometimes a girl just needs chocolate.  And lots of it.

And thank heavens it's something I can eat.

And thank heavens that I never feel the need to swear off of it--you know like for a New Year's resolution.  Do you set New Year's resolutions?

I do but I try to keep them realistic.  So you are going to get the same amount of sugar/healthy recipes here because that's what reality is at this household.  Plus I don't want to feel guilty for not achieving my goals, so I try to keep them sweet and simple.
1. Make lots of new dessert recipes.
2. Write posts about said recipes.
3. Drink Diet Coke.
4. Try to only buy one container of chocolate covered almonds from Costco a month.
5. Go to the gym 3 times a week (so I can eat said dessert recipes).
6. Learn to like peas (oh wait that's never going to happen).
7. Create my own dessert recipe.
8. Try some new things for dinner.
9. Learn to make artisan breads.
10. Eat chocolate everyday.

Sounds like things I can handle.

On to this fabulousness.  My daughter was in charge of bringing a shortbread dessert to her "medieval festival" at school.  And of course I couldn't make the normal stuff--I had to make it into chocolate, but she was very happy and loved them.  They smelled fantastic and are so moist and soft.  Plus super easy to whip up.

Chocolate Shortbread Bars

(click here for printable version)

*Note: To make the superfine sugar that is called for in the recipe, blend 1 cup granulated sugar until it is super fine in texture.

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 1/2 tbsp dutch-process or regular unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar (see note above)
Granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper or foil, making sure the parchment or foil is overhanging on two sides. Lightly spray the foil or parchment with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Place the butter and superfine sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer (handheld or stand) until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour/cocoa mixture. Beat until just combined.

3. Spread dough into the prepared pan, using a spatula or your slightly wet fingers to even out the surface. Chill the dough for 15 minutes. Remove from fridge and prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Bake for 20-24 minutes. The shortbread will be slightly puffed but still soft but will firm up as it cools.

4. While the shortbread is still hot, cut the baked dough into fingers by cutting down the center the long way and then cutting into 8-10 strips across. Sprinkle the tops of the bars with granulated sugar and let the shortbread cool completely in the pan. Using the parchment or foil overhang, lift the bars from the pan, gently break into pieces (where you cut them) and serve at room temperature. The bars will keep for 2-3 days covered at room temperature.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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