Friday 25 December 2015

Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I was thinking about a few things whilst baking this vanilla shortbread dipped in chocolate.

First, I was remembering the shortbread we used to have in primary school at lunch.
It was thick, coated in plenty of caster sugar and half-dipped in chocolate. It was this thought of it that came to me the other week and I knew that I just had to recreate those buttery biscuits again.

Secondly, I was praying for a little sunshine. I bake in the kitchen and take the goodies outside to shoot in natural light. The sky has been so dark this week. Even the middle of the day feels like much later. Alhamdulillah though, on the morning of this shortbread shoot, the sun shone and the sky was the most beautiful clear blue. Perfect.

And, last but not least, I was thinking about this dua (prayer). The shape of my shortbread may have been a slight influence. 

The dua I was thinking about is here in Arabic:
And, it translates into English as this:
O turner of the hearts (Allah), keep our hearts firm on your religion.
This dua is one of my favourites and I hope, along with these seven-ingredient shortbread biscuits, that it becomes yours too.

Shortbread, previously: Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies // Chocolate Shortbread with White Chocolate Drizzle 

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Sugar
2. Unsalted Butter
3. Vanilla Essence
4. Plain Flour
5. Salt
6. Milk Chocolate
7. Caster Sugar

Bismillah, let's begin!

Our first job? To make the vanilla shortbread dough and of course, we begin with butter and sugar.

Into a large bowl, place 110 grams Sugar. I used granulated but caster works well too.

To it, add 170 grams Unsalted Butter, at room temperature. Salted would be fine too - just miss out the salt that comes later.

I used the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Feel free to do this with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer too!

We want to beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and well combined. This will take a good two minutes and it is very important that your butter is soft and at room temperature.

Next, the vanilla! Because this is a vanilla shortbread! You could also at this point, add a little orange or lemon zest, if you want. 

Measure out 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence.

And, pour it on in!

A final mix and it's time for the dry ingredients! This recipe is so easy you guys, I hope you give it a go!

We have two dry ingredients - plain flour and salt. Plain flour because this is a biscuit which we do not want to rise. And, salt? Because it heightens all the flavours and makes everything taste so good!

Measure out 255 grams Plain Flour.

To it, add 1/8 teaspoon Salt. This is about a good pinch.

Give them a stir and then throw them into a sieve. I know, I know, you hate sifting things. So do I but for these shortbread, it's worth it.

Once everything is sifted in, it's time to mix again.

Mix on a low speed until all the flour is mixed in.

Then, you'll see small pieces form but keep going.

Until you get big clumps of dough.

Give everything a final stir by hand. Then, scrape out onto a sheet of clingfilm.

Shape into a disc.

And, wrap up in the clingfilm.

Our dough needs to chill before we can roll it out. I like to do 10 minutes in the freezer but you could do 30 minutes in the fridge.
{P.S. Can you tell I love spring rolls?}

Once the dough has chilled, take it out of the fridge/freezer and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes. This'll make rolling so much easier.

In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Also, line two baking trays with baking paper but don't grease them.

And, grab a rolling pin, biscuit cutter, extra flour and the caster sugar.

Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured surface.

I used this heart shaped cutter - it measured approximately 3 inches. You can use any shape you like!

Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour.

Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/2 inch.

If your dough decides to crack on you, let it rest for a few minutes.

And then simply, press back together.

This is a very forgiving dough.

Once rolled, it's time to cut out your shapes.

Place your biscuits onto the lined but not greased tray. You can place them quite close together as they don't spread.

Finally, take a little caster sugar.

Spread liberally over the biscuits. Bake the shortbread for 15-20 minutes until golden at the edges.

While they bake, a quick word about leftover dough.

All you do is form into a ball.

Re-roll and cut out!

And, when you get to the tiny scraps at the end, here's what I do. I put them into the cutter.

And, press to fit with my fingers.

A slightly crooked but still adorable heart!

This was my second tray.

Doused with more caster sugar and into bake!

Here is the baked shortbread - golden at the edges and perfect!

Let them cool completely on wire racks!

When they're all baked and cool, it's time to dip/dunk them in chocolate.

I used 200 grams Milk Chocolate but feel free to use any you like.

Break the chocolate up and heat in the microwave until melted - I like to stir every 30 seconds.

Like so!

I dipped most of my shortbread half in chocolate.

But you can do whatever you like!

My favourite though was dunking the entire biscuit into the chocolate!

Once dunked and dipped, place the biscuits onto baking paper to set. I ran out and ...

... this is what happened! The bottom chocolate had stuck to the tray! So, make sure you put yours onto baking paper!

I did this when I tested the recipe out and the biscuits came off the paper perfectly!

Guys, these shortbread biscuits are my new favourite. They remind me of primary school lunches and I love them dunked in hot coffee.

Be sure to store the biscuits in an airtight container! Enjoy!

Full Written Recipe:

Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes plus chilling.
Bake Time: About 15-20 minutes.
Serves: Makes about 20 large shortbread hearts.

110 grams Sugar
170 grams Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon Vanilla Essence
255 grams Plain Flour
1/8 teaspoon Salt
Caster Sugar, to sprinkle over the shortbread
200 grams Milk Chocolate, melted


To make the shortbread dough, place the sugar and butter in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined and creamy.
Add the vanilla and beat in.
Stir the flour and salt together and add to the bowl. Mix on a low speed until the dough begins to clump together in big pieces.

To chill the dough, scrape the mixture out onto a piece of clingfilm. Form into a disc and wrap tightly in the clingfilm.
Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes or into the fridge for 30 minutes.

To roll and cut the dough, take it out of the fridge/freezer and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes.
Unwrap the dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to ½ inch thick and cut with a medium sized cutter – about 3 inches. I used a heart one.

To bake the shortbread, pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
Place the shortbread onto a lined but not greased baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are brown and crisp.
Once baked, place onto wire racks to cool completely.

To dip in chocolate, make sure the shortbread are completely cold. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time.
Dip the shortbread into the chocolate. You can dip half the biscuit or go all the way and dip the entire thing.
Place the dipped shortbread onto greaseproof paper to set completely – this may take a few hours. I like to leave mine overnight.

To store, keep the shortbread in an airtight container. Enjoy with tea or coffee!

{Adapted from Ina Garten}

This Time One Year Ago:
Cinnamon Maple Granola

This Time Two Years Ago:
Chocolate Orange Scones

This Time Three Years Ago:
Chilli Chips

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your shortbread,


Spice Enthusiast
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