I really have a thing for shortbread lately. My whole life I always thought it was pretty boring until recently I realized you just need to add a little something to it. Like these Chocolate Dipped Toffee Pecan Shortbread Cookies, I don’t know if shortbread gets any better! You just can’t go wrong with this combination. They are perfectly balanced with sweet, buttery, caramel-like, nutty flavors and they’ll leave you wanting more. Trust me I know. These things are hard to resist!
I’ve listed a quite a few tips in the recipe. The biggest of them being the use of chilled butter. Most shortbread recipes don’t require it but I frequently have issues with shortbread and other types of cookies spreading so I’ll often begin with cubed, chilled butter and this seems to be one of the only things that will help reduce spreading without having to add in too much extra flour. Just be sure that you mix the butter/powdered sugar mixture until there are not longer little chunks of butter in the mixture and it becomes smooth and slightly creamy (and don’t pack your flour when measuring!). Then also when shaping the logs sort of squeeze and compress the log as you shape it so you fill in any holes that may be in the center since the dough is pretty cold. If you still do happen to have a few little holes when you slice them you can fill them with a little dough.
I just love the holidays (other than the fact that every and any store is already starting to get too busy and traffic is getting worse). I love the excitement for the magic of Christmas that comes from my kids, I love the snowy weather, and I really love all the sweet treats that come with it. I look forward to this month all year. I’m guessing you like the holiday season too so start it out right by making a batch of these Chocolate Dipped Toffee Pecan Shortbread, then while your at it you might as well make a batch of the Peppermint Meltaway Cookies I recently shared too :).
Chocolate Dipped Toffee Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Yield: About 28 cookies
- 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour*
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold and diced into small cubes
- 2/3 cup (86g) powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup toffee bits
- 1/2 cup (60g) finely chopped pecans, plus more for garnish**
- 9 oz chopped good quality milk chocolate or dark chocolate , broken into pieces or chopped***
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and powdered sugar, while stopping to scrape down bowl frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy. Mix in vanilla extract then with mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix until nearly combined (it will be dry and crumbly at first but it will start to come together). Add in toffee bits and pecans and mix until combined (you may need to fold in those at the bottom of the bowl with a spatula). Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into an even 6 1/2-inch log (that is about 1 3/4-inches round) on a lightly floured surface compressing dough rather tightly together so there aren't holes in the center of the log and cookies hold together well when sliced. Wrap each portion in a separate sheet of plastic wrap. Chill dough 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees during last 15 minutes of chilling dough.
Remove one log of dough from refrigerator. Cut into slices slightly under 1/2-inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper spacing them 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven until just barely golden brown on edges, about 12 - 16 minutes. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining chilled dough, adding the sliced dough to a cool baking sheet (a warm baking sheet will make them spread more).
For the chocolate coating:
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Add chocolate to a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave in 20 second intervals on 50% power stirring between intervals until melted and smooth. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, shake to let excess run off. Transfer to parchment paper. Sprinkle each cookie with a little bit of toffee bits and pecans. Let chocolate set at room temperature or in refrigerator to set quicker. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
*To measure scoop flour from container and level with a butter knife, rather than spooning into cup and measuring. Be careful not to pack into cup when measuring though. For best results just use a kitchen scale, I always use a scale now when I bake and I highly recommend them.
**I like to use Fishers pecan cookie pieces, they are just tiny pecan pieces - no chopping is required and they are all about the same size.
***Note that since the chocolate isn't tempered it may bloom and become lightly streaky or spotty in places, if you want to avoid this you can temper the chocolate or use good quality chocolate melts.
Recipe source: inspired by Baking and Boys