Monday 21 July 2014

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Shortbread

So let's turn the conversation to shortbread...everyone likes shortbread right?! And who doesn't like chocolate...put the 2 together and you got yourself a damn good dunker for your tea (or coffee...whatever!)

Oh and did you know that shortbread owns the title of the greatest British Biscuit? Weird when you think about it ... normally we associate them with Scotland, stashed in a tartan tin.

When making shortbread there's always the question of to chill or not to chill?

And by that I mean whether to use butter cold or at room temperature? I think it's incredibly frustrating to rub rock hard butter to fine breadcrumbs (especially when your an impatient sort of baker like me) but apparently using cold butter helps to give a flaky, rather than a crumbly finished product. Anyhow...I just got my butter straight from the fridge and by the time I'd got all my other equipment and ingredients ready to start it was easier to work with than I thought. (But I think the fact that we're currently in a heatwave also helped with that too).

I believe that these biscuits are buttery and indulgent, with just the right amount of chocolate without it becoming just a plain old chocolate biscuit. They are speckled with milk chocolate chips, but if you want to be daring, go for dark...why not?!

I can't say exactly how many biscuits this recipe makes because it's all down to the size and thickness you want. I went for a 1cm thick shortbread, which I think is the perfect thickness (I don't want them thin and crisp!) but they still break and crumble easily enough. Altogether it made 18 for me. Oh and unless you got extremely nimble fingers I don't think you'd  be able to manage it anyway...they'd just crumble in transit to the baking tray.

I used this cute shortbread fluted cutter, I absolutely love it!! If you see one in a cookware shop buy one- you want regret it! I think it's quite rare too, not seen them anywhere else before and let me tell ya I've been to some cook shops in my time! I found it in an old gifty sort of shop called 'Hargreaves & Son Ltd' in Buxton. 

Ingredients (makes 18-20 biscuits)

350g plain flour
150g caster sugar
220g butter
a little caster sugar for sprinkling
100g milk chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas 3/ 300°F. Lightly grease 2 baking trays.
Measure the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the chocolate chips and then knead together to form a dough.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of about 1cm. Cut out your desired shapes and lay onto the baking trays. 

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until pale golden. Lift onto a wire rack to cool.Sprinkle with a little sugar and your done!

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