I’ve mentioned before how I feel about shortbread.
Well, my favourite cookie of all time is getting a serious run for it’s money in these squares. These have all the buttery melt-in-your-mouth goodness of that whipped shortbread, except now we’re also talking chocolate. And they’re bars, which means they are even faster since you don’t have to portion the dough into individual cookies.
These squares scream holiday baking so loud it hurts – they are #1 on my list.
If the only shortbread you’ve ever had came from a tin and tasted like cheap, fake butter, you need to make your own shortbread. I like a lot of cookies, and generally get a bit upset about crisp cookies, but seriously, nothing beats a good shortbread. I can eat a chocolate chip cookie or two and call it a day, but these I could not.stop.thinking.about all day long until I had eaten them all. Daaaaaangerous. Good thing they freeze well and I had already squirrelled half away!
Like any shortbread, these are a bit crumbly (but don’t let that fool you, they aren’t dry!), so they aren’t the best to serve if you’re having 12 kids over and get twitchy about crumbs on your carpet, but adults, with napkins? You will be a star.
If you can bear to share.
And if you don’t want to bother with the drizzle, because let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to bother, they taste absolutely just as good plain. Just not quite as pretty, but maybe then there will be more left for your (my) own face.
I hope you make these soon and love them even half as much as I do.
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup confectioner's sugar/icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup corn starch
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- white melting chocolate for drizzling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9x13" baking dish with parchment paper, letting paper overhang the ends for easy removal.
- Beat butter, cocoa, icing sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until very creamy, 3-5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, and salt.
- Stir flour mixture into whipped butter until combined, then stir in cranberries and chocolate chips.
- Using floured fingers or a large silicone spatula, press dough evenly into prepared pan. Prick surface lightly all over with a fork.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until set and edges are firm to the touch. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes, then use parchment paper overhang to lift squares out of pan (careful not to bend them!) to cutting board. Slice into bars while still warm (this minimizes cracking/crumbling, although you'll still probably get a bit of both). Cool completely before drizzling with melted white chocolate or dusting with icing sugar.
Adapted from a little Robin Hood pamphlet that came in my Canadian Living Magazine; you can find the original recipe here.