It’s “A pair of Hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots/ Is the wish of Bonny and Ben/ Dolls that will talk and go for a walk/ Is the hope of Janice and Jenn!” …was my response to my coworker’s question, “who even knows those lyrics anyway?!”
I was then affectionately (I hope) deemed a Christmas nerd who probably has elf ears ready to wear at a moment’s notice :) While I don’t have elf ears, I do have the banisters wrapped in holly garlands, a centerpiece of gold pinecones and nutcrackers, and seasonal soap, of course.
What can I say? I love the Christmas season. I often feel just as excited as Buddy the Elf. All the decorations, the music, the family time, the movies, and obviously the COOKIES. Oh! Remember these Spiced Molasses Cookies?! Or the Chocolate Walnut Sandwich Cookies with a Salted Caramel Filling? YES. Make them all.
To start this season off right, I made shortbread dipped in salted chocolate topped with peppermint/pistachios/coconut. I can’t decide which one was my favorite – they were all good. You can go nuts with the toppings – toasted almonds/crushed ribbon candy/chopped dried cherries – you do you! But no matter what, you have to salt the dark chocolate. After that, I’ll support your decisions, promise.
Here’s what I did:
Salted Chocolate Shortbread with Peppermint/Pistachios/Coconut
*recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Makes about 25 cookies.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a large bowl and an electric beater), beat with the paddle attachment for about one minute, or until combined:
- ¾ pound unsalted butter (three sticks), at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in:
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
Add in and mix on low speed until the dough comes together:
- 3 ½ cups flour
Dump the dough out onto a flour-dusted counter, and shape it into a disk (kneading a little if there are still some patches of flour or it seems too crumbly). Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface into ½ inch thickness, and cut the dough into 1”x3” rectangles (or use any cookie cutter you’d like). Bake the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
Allow the cookies to cool completely.
Place in a glass bowl:
- 6 to 7 dark (I like 60%) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments, until completely melted and smooth, stirring between nuking.
Dip the cookies in the chocolate at an angle, allow the excess chocolate to drizzle off, and scrape the chocolate off the bottom against the edge of the chocolate bowl. Place back on the parchment paper. Repeat with about half the cookies. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on:
- Flakey sea salt, just a tiny pinch per cookie
Then sprinkle on your toppings separately. (Or all together! Who am I to judge?!) I did:
- ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
- 3 candy canes, crushed
- ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
Repeat with the rest of the cookies. Enjoy!
Find more fun seasonal recipes over at Fiesta Friday!