Happiness is sunshine and blue skies after a long, bitterly cold winter. Happiness is wearing knee socks even though you don’t go to private school. Happiness is when a stranger holds the door open for you twice in a row even though you are walking ten feet behind him.
Happiness is a lot of things and included on the list is making shortbread cookies in culinary arts with my friend Suzy, who writes The Morning Joy. On a day when things are looking bleak and I’m feeling drained, unexpectedly baking something in cul-arts is a comforting surprise. Typical classes give me stress, but baking in cul-arts can take it away.
Today was one of those unbearably tiring days. School was almost over, but my day wasn’t; every other Wednesday afternoon, I volunteer and often don’t get home until nine or ten at night. At the mention of making shortbread cookies, I blinked wearily and turned away. But as I imagined a morsel of shortbread melting in my mouth, I changed my mind.
Suzy, my other friend Minah, and I quickly whipped up a batch of shortbread dough, adding in some chocolate chips to replace the cocoa we’d taken out from the chocolate shortbread recipe. We decided to bake the shortbread in the shape of a cookie, for lack of effort in forming the traditional shortbread shapes.
For me, waiting is always the hardest part while preparing a baked dessert. Cheesecakes are the worst in that perspective. After making the crust and filling of the cheesecake, it needs to be baked. Then the cheesecake has to cool on the rack before chilling in the fridge for at least four hours. But I endure the wait because I don’t care for the taste of warm cheesecake.
The time I spent waiting for the shortbread to bake felt longer than the rest of the day combined. I had considered eating the dough raw; it didn’t have eggs in it and uncooked flour wasn’t going to kill me... But I’m glad I waited. The melt-in-your-mouth shortbread fulfilled my craving for something sweet, rich, and chocolate-y.
Click below for the recipe.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
This is a really simple recipe with a basic ratio of one part butter to one part sugar and two parts butter. Traditional shortbread recipes have one part sugar to two parts butter to three parts flour, but I like this recipe because it tastes less buttery.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream butter with an electric mixer or rubber spatula until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour and chocolate chips and mix until the shortbread dough just comes together. The shortbread won't form into one solid mass; there will be clumps of dough.
- Shape the dough into twelve cookies (or whatever shape you prefer). Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the shortbread is set in the middle and barely golden brown.