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Chocolate Orange Spice Shortbread

  • 1/10
    Chocolate Orange Spice Shortbread
  • 2/10
    Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with the vegetable oil.
  • 3/10
    Sift the flour, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg into a medium bowl.
  • 4/10
    Transfer to a food processor bowl fitted with an S-blade, and pulse a few times. Add the orange flavor and butter...
  • 5/10
    ...and process until the mixture forms a smooth, sticky dough, about 1 minute.
  • 6/10
    Press the dough evenly into the pan, and smooth out the surface with the back of a spoon. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  • 7/10
    With a sharp knife, score it into 8 wedges.
  • 8/10
    Using a round 2-inch cookie cutter, remove the center of the dough and discard it. Place the cookie cutter back in the middle of the pan.
  • 9/10
    Bake in the oven until crisp around the edges, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, and score the wedges again with a knife.
  • 10/10
    Place the pan on a can or a jar to remove the outer ring.

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Nov 3, 2015

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Chocolate Orange Spice Shortbread

Crisp, tender and intensely butter-rich, shortbread is a sweet biscuit—or cookie— that originated in Scotland and became popular around Christmas and Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve). It is now beloved everywhere and of course good year-round—a simple but satisfying delicacy to have with your tea or coffee.

I took a basic shortbread recipe and added flavors I never get tired of: cacao, orange essence, and spices evocative of fall and the holiday spirit. The outcome is a bafflingly good, chocolaty treat that compels you to take another bite.

Butter is the star ingredient in shortbread, so try to get organic and the best you can, possibly from the happiest cows you know. If you use salted butter, skip adding the salt to the dough.

The method tells you to cut out the center of the dough before baking; this is because it removes the tips of the wedges, which tend to be very fragile and break off. Also, it’s a more traditional shape that way.

O

  1. Serves 8
  2. Vegetable oil
  3. 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  4. 1 cup powdered sugar
  5. ½ cup cornstarch
  6. ¼ cup cocoa
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  11. 2 teaspoons orange oil flavor
  12. 18 tablespoons unsalted cold butter (2 sticks butter plus 2 tablespoons), cut into ½-inch cubes

1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with the vegetable oil.

2

Sift the flour, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Transfer to a food processor bowl fitted with an S-blade, and pulse a few times. Add the orange flavor and butter, and process until the mixture forms a smooth, sticky dough, about 1 minute.

3

Press the dough evenly into the pan, and smooth out the surface with the back of a spoon. Prick the dough all over with a fork. With a sharp knife, score it into 8 wedges. Using a round 2-inch cookie cutter, remove the center of the dough and discard it. Place the cookie cutter back in the middle of the pan. Freeze the pan until firm, about 15 minutes.

4

Bake in the oven until crisp around the edges, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, and score the wedges again with a knife. Let cool completely in the pan, about 60 minutes. Place the pan on a can or a jar to remove the outer ring. Remove the cookie cutter, and separate the shortbread into wedges. Dust with cocoa and powdered sugar, if you like.

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