3.25.2017

Chocolate Squared

Sorry, everyone - today's post isn't a math problem. I know you were hoping to do math this morning, but all I really wanted was square chocolate cookies.
Simple, square, cocoa-rich, buttery cookies. Is that too much to ask?

Like so many, this recipe is a conglomeration of several. Some recipes were too sweet, others had additional ingredients (I tend to like my chocolate unadorned), one was way too soft, another too doughy.

In the end, this recipe is pretty perfect, and ever so simple.

Not too sweet, the cookies have a nice "tooth" to them, and are perfect for your morning coffee, afternoon tea, or evening cocoa.

Now that we're done with this, you can get back to your math.

~ David

Chocolate Shortbread Squares

7 3/4 ounces flour
2 1/4 ounces unsweetened cocoa, I use Pernigotti
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 7/8 ounces granulated sugar

Whisk flour and cocoa together in a bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light fluffy. Add the sugar continue to beat until very pale. Stop the mixer; add the flour and cocoa mixture and combine on low speed, until it forms a slightly dry dough.

On a sheet of wax paper, form the dough into a square log 14 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I use a dough scraper to help me for the log. Wrap tightly in the wax paper and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on the parchment and inch or more apart. Place cookies sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes; preheat oven to 325°F. Remove cookie sheets from the freezer and bake shortbreads for 18 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, until they are firm enough to remove with a spatula. Them remove them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. 

Makes 4 dozen.



43 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Liz - this was a fun post to shoot!

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  2. Love everything about this post!! Especially your use of the plates to showcase the ingredients. I can only imagine how delicious these cookies are. Gorgeous, David.

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    1. Cathleen - I suddenly realized how many different sizes of white plates I had - quite funny when you think about it! And, yes, the cookies are pretty wonderful - hope you try them!

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  3. Sounds fabulous! I love the plate in the hero shot!

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    1. I had an entire dessert set of those plates - but left them in Maine - kept 4 of them for photos!

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  4. This cookie is so simple and so luxurious. Your study of white dishes has just the same effect. In fact you've just inspired a photo in my head. I wonder if I can pull it off on the blog. GREG

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    1. I am looking forward to your photo, Greg - now I am very curious to see what this has inspired!

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  5. 4 ingredeints and in a square shape to boot, delicious and clever David. Happy Sunday, hiking the preserve today.

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    1. What a wonderful day for a hike, Cheri! It must have been wonderful...

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  6. I'm sure these are amazing, David! Love that they are square ;) I've got everything to make some too! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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    1. Let me know what you think, Marcelle - to me, they were a perfect, not-too-sweet cookie...

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  7. No math for me.... Nice picture, Davis. And lovely recipe. Ciao, Anna

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    1. Happily, no math required, Anna! Hope all is well with you, Anna!

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  8. I was surprised when my cousin in England was telling me about chocolate shortbread served with custard, when I was there in January. Apparently, they were served it in school. I had never heard of this, but your shortbread (can't call it a cookie) looks fab and of course it is with that amazing cocoa! :)

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    1. I have loved chocolate shortbreads since I lived in Maine and a bakery had heart-shaped ones. I used to call them "cocoa hearts" in honor of Sir Elton John's song where he sings "cold, cold heart" but it sounds like "cocoa heart."

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  9. Wonderful photos and delicious looking cookies. I should have made them for tonight, oh well another time.

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    1. Thanks, Gerlinde - luckily, the recipe doesn't expire at midnight!

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  10. First, thank you for not making me do math! (I'd have had to have my 13 yr old help me!) I LOVE these cookies So decadent! And I love the plate/dish styling. Just lovely.

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    1. We all need a 13-year old to do our math and computer work, don't we Valentina? Glad you like the post!

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  11. I love recipes as simple as this, what a fantastic intense chocolate colour you got from them!

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    1. The flavor is as intense as the color, too! Thanks, Caroline.

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  12. I'm definitely going to try this. I love the simplicity and—like you—I am searching for just the right balance. For me, it's somewhere to close to being pure chocolate, with just enough flour to keep things together. You may well have hit it just right...

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    1. Well, Frank, just enough flour AND butter to hold things together... :)

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    2. Right. How could I forget the butter!

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  13. Just a few simple ingredients, yes…I like that kind of cookie.

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  14. When I scrolled down and saw that gorgeous lump of dough, I kind of thought I'd happily chomp into that. Then the shortbread squares appeared. That'll do, too!

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    1. I might or might not have eaten any of the dough raw as I made these. I will never tell... Thanks, John - for your comments while traveling. It's almost as if you aren't away!

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  15. Love the photos and the Rx, D. I can't wait to sink my teeth into these yummy cookies!

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  16. If you say so, I'm certain these are perfect chocolate cookies. They certainly look and sound it, and so easy and simple to make. Looking forward to trying the recipe. And the photos are just wonderful!!

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    1. Thanks, Ngeun! I guess the thing about "the perfect chocolate cookie" is that it is very personal. These are mine - if you make them, I hope they are yours, too!

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  17. Hi David
    having just made the famous Pierre Herme/Doriee Greenspan's chocolate sables (delicious).. I am now ready for a new recipe to try. :)
    + one question, off topic (my apologies I could not find your email on yr blog): I have seen (from yr comment in Memorie d'angelica) that u have made your alchermes. I tried too but I would like to know which recipe u followed (bugialli's ? or some else's) + can u pls tell me if yr home made alchermes tastes pretty close to the santa maria novella's one? thanks and ciao per ora, stefano

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    1. Ciao, Stefano - I knew it was you right away - and it is funny that the system didn't let you sign in when it let you before! Sometimes Blogger drives me crazy. :)

      I will have to try the Hermé/Greenspan chocolate sablés. Like you, I am always willing to try another.

      I am glad you asked about the Alkermes/ Alchermes. I got mine out and tasted it the other night - and I like it. I have never tasted them side-by-side but memory says it isn't quite the same as the Santa Maria Novella, but a fairly good recreation. I do know I like it better than the cheaper variety of Alchermes I bought in Italy in a 750ml bottle!

      I have an unopened bottle of the SMN so will try them both this weekend and get back to you. For me, the homemade is good enough for the Zuppa Inglese. And, although the recipe was given to me by a friend, I looked online and the recipe I used is almost identical to Bugialli's - the only ingredient that is slightly different is the amount of cardamom; my recipe used slightly more.

      A presto, D

      PS - My email used ot be on the front page. The "contact me" widget seems to be gone. I will try to repair that but can be reached at cocoaandlavender@gmail.com

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    2. ah, grazie! zuppa inglese is exactly why I made my alchermes and I agree with u: I did try one che supermarket variety once in Italy and...oh, my! really nasty! pls do not open the bottle of SMN just for this test though - I am sure it is really special: save it for a good occasion. grazie e a presto, ciao david, stefano

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    3. Stefano - when we do open the SMN bottle (probably at Christmas) I will let you know. We will be going back the the Farmacia in September so I plan to buy some more to bring back. Ciao, my friend. d

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  18. ..ops, sorry the system does not take my credential: this is stefano from www.italianhomecooking.co.uk ciao, s

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  19. Liz, way up there at the very beginning, recorded the words before I could: Gorgeous photos! all the better to frame those delicous-looking cookies!

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    1. I had so much fun taking these shots, Susan! Every once in a while, I get lucky and have a good idea! :)

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Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

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