Sunday, 6 December 2015

Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread

A delicious buttery vanilla biscuit , generously dipped in milk and white chocolate. Perfect to give as a homemade gift!
Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread

Oh my stars, look at this! The first week of the second year of Four Weeks of Christmas baking! Mull that over for a minute and figure out the time line then join me in a big fat YAY! My tree is up and shining beside me as I type and I have a Christmas candle burning, I really love this time of year.
Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
In December, we use salt and pepper from a Santa and Sack combo. That's how we roll.

 Is any other biscuit so quintessential Christmas as shortbread? How did that happen? Shortbread is Scottish, I know that much. But why is it associated with Christmas? I did a quick google and couldn't find an answer on the first two pages I clicked on so I'm stumped. If you know, please leave a comment and tell me!
Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
Little offset spatula. How handy you are.

Mr Cakes loves shortbread. Or he did. When I asked him the morning of baking the shortbread, he didn't seem too excited. He had just come off night shift so that might explain it, though anything Christmas related should be welcomed with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm. That's how I live my life.
Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
Little stars and maybe the circles are moons! A Christmas sky.

Shortbread gets its name from the 'shortness' of the dough, meaning it's buttery and has a high proportion of fat. The recipe traditionally is very simple with just butter, plain flour, rice flour and sugar as well as a dash of salt. There are many variations and commonly, the rice flour is substituted with cornflour. Cornflour will make a softer biscuit and rice flour gives a crisper, more crumbly biscuit. Ever the traditionalist - with baking at least - I use rice flour.
Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
That pink dish cost me $20, it was more than 60% off. That is a Christmas miracle. But I had to bring it up the back stairs so Mr Cakes didn't see it as I have been spending waaaay too much money. How did it get here, he'll ask and I'll say "SANTA!"

I did stray ever so slightly by adding a vanilla pod to the dough. I wanted not only the amazing flavour of vanilla but I find those tiny black dots so pretty on the surface. Like their own teeny tiny baubles. Then I went further off the traditionalist path by dipping them in chocolate. And I don't think I need to explain that chocolate makes everything better. We all know that. That's science.
Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
Bon-bons were half price too. And the pack said they're luxury bon bons. Bargain.

This is such a simple recipe, a really great one to do with little ones in the kitchen. I don't have any little ones (yesssssssss) but I do have puppies and they like to help too. Snuffling up any dropped bits of dough so quick. So helpful.
Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
Pretty. God, I'm glad I bought that dish. I got one in mint too, which will definitely be making an appearance soon.

 Once the dough has been made, I like to roll the dough out on a piece of baking paper. This ensures less mess but also makes it easier to get the cut out cookies off the bench. When making stars, this is especially important as a little stickiness on the points of the stars came make them misshapen.

Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
This shortbread is really yummy, the vanilla makes it pop. And the chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better.
These would make great gifts, they would look so pretty wrapped in a bit of cellophane and tied with a little red bow. Also, they're pretty inexpensive which counts around this time of year, so many expenses.

Cassie Cakes Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
Remember to leave some cookies out for Santa!
I just ate a burrito and then had two of these delicious shortbreads and I tell you, I could get a second job as a shopping centre Santa. God, I'm so full.

Visit Four Weeks of Christmas Baking past!:

Week 1 of Four Weeks of Christmas Baking: Christmas Star Cherry Tart with Cinnamon Honey Roasted Macadamia Ice Cream
Week 2 of Four Weeks of Christmas Baking: Raspberry Jam Drops
Week 3 of Four Weeks of Christmas Baking: Rum Ball Trifle
Week 4 of Four Weeks of Christmas Baking: Eggnog Cake

Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
Adapted from The Guardian shortbread recipe

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 27 mins
Total time:  37 mins

Servings: 24 cut-out biscuits

230g butter, softened
120g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, scraped
260g plain flour
80g rice flour
150g milk chocolate
150g white chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C and line two cookie sheets with baking paper
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until soft then add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
  3. Scrape in the seeds from a vanilla pod and mix.
  4. Sift in both flours and mix to a smooth dough.
  5. Roll out dough to 1cm thickness and cut using assorted shaped cutters.
  6. Place on the prepared cookie sheets, at least 2cm apart and place in the fridge to chill for at 15 minutes.
  7. Bake each tray on the middle shelf of the oven for 27 minutes, or until cookies are just cooked.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. Melt the chocolates in separate bowls, in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
  10. Dip each cookie in the melted chocolate and allow to dry.
  11. Enjoy!


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