I love baking. I think it's a lot of fun. However (and I know this will shock most of you....ha) I somehow manage to pick rather complicated recipes whenever I bake (or cook). I can't just buy a frozen crust, I have to make my own, I can't just use a box mix, I have to make a triple layer Devils Food Cookie Dough Peanut Cutter Cup Cake. I some how manage to make a One-Pot Meal into a Three-Pot Meal and have the four dirty spoons and spatulas to boot.
So it's always hard for me to be able to temper myself, especially when I'm having people over for dinner. I have a tendency to do three too much. It always turns out well, but I end up getting all harried right before everyone shows up.
On these occasions I do have a few quick dessert fall-backs one of which is a super delicious Chocolate Shortbread Recipe. Everyone thinks I spent AGES on it, but it's super fast and incredibly delicious. And honestly, I know I should lie and say "Yes, it took hours" but I don't....maybe next time.
This recipe can be made in advance and people always love it.
2 Cups of Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar + extra for sprinkling
1/2 TSP Baking Soda
1 TSP Baking Powder
1/2 TSP Salt
1 Cup of Milk Chocolate Chips (I generally go with Ghiradelli and use a little less than half of the bag...I like it chocolaty chippy)
2 1x1 Squares of Semi Sweet Chocolate (I use Bakers)
1 2/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Large Cookie Cutter. Avoid something with lots of tight edges (like stars) the dough gets stuck in there easily. I use a flower, you can use the mouth of a pint glass and make circles
Preheat Oven to 325
Shave the semi sweet chocolate (don't use cocoa powder, trust me, freshly shaved chocolate really makes the cookie). You can either use a grater or zester or if you have a Cuisinart, you can use that too (it will save you time!). You want it to be a thin shave though, so don't use the large holed side of the cheese grater, use the smaller side. This is going to take a bit, maybe 10 minutes or so.
In a bowl, add flour, sugar, shaved semi sweet chocolate, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir it together. Add the chocolate chips and mix. Just a heads up, the dough is going to look really light. Once you add the cream, it will get much much darker.
From here, I recommend mixing this by hand, but if you use a mixer make sure not to over mix.
Add the heavy cream and mix until it forms a tacky dough. This should be around a minute at most of hand mixing.
Roll the dough into a ball and place on a clean, flat, well floured surface.
Roll the dough ball in the flour. The color will change from a dark chocolate to a dusty brown.
If you choose to refrigerate overnight, you can take this dough ball and place it in an airtight container.
If you are going to make immediately, add more flower to the surface and roll the dough. Be careful to keep flouring, this dough can get really sticky and it will be a pain in the butt to get off the surface, it will stick to your rolling pin and will make the whole process longer.
Honestly, when it comes to rolling this dough, there's never enough flour.
Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and start cutting out your shapes. Take the scraps, roll them in a ball and repeat the process until you don't have any dough left. My flowers were a little bigger than the size of my palm and I was able to get 8 total cookies from my dough.
If you have a pizza stone, you can place the cookies on that, if you have baking sheets, line then with parchment and place the cookies on that. Before popping the dough in the oven, take a tablespoon (or two or if you're like me a handful) of sugar and sprinkle generously on top of each of the cookies.
Bake for 20 minutes. They should puff up and be a little firm to the touch.
If you're not serving immediately, let them cool and throw them into a zip lock bag in your refrigerator. Pull them out right before you serve.
If you are serving immediately, cut strawberries and add some fresh whipped cream and serve on top of the stars along with some additional shaved semi-sweet chocolate!