As I said in yesterday's review of the new Canadian Living baking cookbook, I made this shortbread recipe, though the dough was iffy. But when the premiere cooking magazine in the country hands you a dud recipe, what can you do but attempt to make it into batch of truffles? Such is life in the baking biz.
Brown Sugar Shortbread with Chocolate and Hazelnut Decor, adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup good quality, real chocolate - either chips or a bar
3/4 cups chopped toasted hazelnuts (guess what I used)
1. Preheat oven to 300F and line two cookie sheets with parchment or silicone liners, or grease well.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add to the butter mixture in two additions. Knead gently until you get a smooth dough. (Note: my dough didn't come together at all and there seemed to be inadequate liquid to absorb the dry ingredients, so I added 1 - 2 tbsp cold milk until the dough did come together and could be rolled out.) Divide in half; shape into rectangles. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled. Alternately, stick in the freezer until chilled - 10 minutes or so.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness. Cut shapes. Place on cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes, or until slightly darker on the bottoms. Cool.
To decorate, melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Either pipe the chocolate onto the cookies, drizzle it, or dab it with the back of a spoon. Dip into nuts. Allow to set.
Honestly, I didn't think these were sweet enough, so if I make these again, I might up the sugar amount to a full 1 cup. I realize this is more of a dry ingredient this recipe didn't seem to need, but adding the milk was a good call and wasn't detrimental at all to the finished product, so adding more isn't a problem.
So, they turned out to be quite darling in the end, and I was quite happy with the results! It was a great way to spend a wet, cold, autumn afternoon.