Buttery, crumbly shortbread is delicious and in my opinion chocolate-dipped shortbread is even better. I thought it was a great idea to gift to someone a few days before Christmas.
To make these lovely shortbread wedges doesn’t take much time and it’s really simple.
To start, preheat the oven to 210°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the collar of a 9-inch spring-form pan on top. Place it upside down so that the grooved edge is at the top and won’t interfere with the shortbread. Put aside.
Then weigh the cold butter and cut it into cubes.
Sift the icing sugar into a ball and tip the butter on top. I like to first stir with a wooden spoon and then use a handheld mixer with the kneading attachment. That way I don’t get the huge cloud of icing sugar in my kitchen. Of course, you can do this entirely by hand, I was just feeling a bit lazy. It won’t take long for the mixture to become smooth.
Sift the flour on top and mix. After a minute of two, the dough will be very short and it will look like very coarse breadcrumbs.
With your hand push the dough around and squeeze slightly so that it forms a rough ball.
Transfer the dough inside the spring-form collar and press it in so that it forms an even layer. You can smooth the surface of the dough using the back of a spoon. You can also take the collar off, level the surface with a rolling pin and then carefully put the collar back on. Then using a cookie cutter, a round one or any shape you want, cut out the centre. I used a star. Place the extracted dough on the baking sheet alongside the collar and put the cookie cutter back in the centre of the shortbread. Open the spring-form collar but leave it in place so that it allows the shortbread to expand a little bit but still controls its shape.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 5 minutes. After that, reduce the temperature to 110°C and bake for about 15 minutes. By that time the edges of the shortbread will be pale gold.
Remove the sheet and turn the oven off. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the shortbread to mark where you’ll cut the 16 wedges. To make them as even as possible start by cutting the shortbread in half, then in fourths, then in eights and finally into sixteen pieces. Only cut halfway down the dough.
Then, using a wooden skewer poke each piece 10 times to give the shortbread its characteristic look.
Return to the turned off oven and allow to dry out for about an hour with the oven door propped open just an inch using a wooden spoon. Once the shortbread is dry, transfer the sheet on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Cut along the scored marks.
Finely chop some pistachios.
In a bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and then take the bowl off the pan. Carefully dip the base or the end of each wedge in the chocolate and allow the chocolate to come almost halfway up the piece. Place the shortbread pieces on a parchment lined sheet and sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top.
Place in the fridge until the chocolate sets, around 15 minutes. And that’s it!
Here’s the recipe, adapted from Local Milk.