Friday, July 8, 2011

Gina's Perfect Shortbread Hearts

A ladybug thank you card from a friend- perched atop a hearty loaf. A cannister of my very favourite blend from my friendly tea master. A mason jar of fancy fixings from another for a favour granted. A container of long-simmered chicken stock with recipe attached. A tiny green veg seedling full of hope and promise left at the door.

All gifts of love, time and self. And deliciousness. Truly the best gifts.

When my daughter came home with her first foodie gift (from someone other than me!) she was thrilled! When opened, the gold-speckled container revealed small chocolate-studded shortbread hearts.

I immediately emailed the mum who sent along these treats requesting the recipe. Here it is in her own words. I am pretty sure it is her use of brown sugar with a touch of chocolate that really makes them the best shortbread ever. The hearts make them that much more special.

Thank you foodie friends- we (insert ♥ cookie cutter) you!

Gina's Perfect Shortbread Hearts
These really are perfect-the dough is easy to work with, it isn't overly sweet and just a few chocolate chips add a little something. They are fabulous on their own or atop a bowl of fresh berries!

1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy, beat in vanilla. Slowly stir in sifted flour and salt until well mixed. Mix in chocolate chips (and nuts if you like but my kids don't).
2. I then press out on to a lightly floured surface and cut out with cookie cutters, lots of mushing with your fingers normally forms it into a workable mixture! Sprinkle with fine sugar before baking.
3. Bake on a non stick tray for about 10 mins at 350 degrees but I check as
sometimes can take less or more.
(Note: I rolled mine with a rolling pin and they were perfect because the chocolate chips acted as a guide for how thick they could be!)