Isn’t this cute? It looks like it came from a bakery and tastes just as good. The best part is that this is so easy to do. The cookies only require 4 ingredients – you probably have everything in your pantry to make these right now! Here’s how to make them (full recipe at bottom of post).
Make a batch of shortbread cookies. Roll out and cut into your favorite shape. Once cookies are cooled. Melt chocolate chips for dipping. (see instructions below)
Carefully dip cookies half way into chocolate.
Allow to cool on waxed paper to prevent sticking.
Add a few rainbow nonpareils for a more decorative touch. Assistance of a cute kid optional.
- 3 sticks of butter at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3½ cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- With an electric stand mixer cream butter and sugar.
- Add vanilla and mix well.
- Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, mix again.
- Add flour and mix on lowest speed until it comes together into a dough. If it is dry and crumbly you didn’t mix it quite long enough.
- Turn out onto a floured surface. Press/knead gently until it comes together into one piece of dough.
- Divide in half and roll out.
- Cut into desired shape with a 2-3″ cookie cutter.
- Bake on ungreased sheets for 20-25 minutes or until edges are just slightly browned. Do not overbake. If unsure, use a spatula to lift up a cookie and check the underside. If it’s browned they are done.
- Move to wire rack to cool completely.
Now these shortbread cookies are VERY tasty just by themselves. But if you want to go for a fancier look, dipping them in chocolate does the job. The combination of shortbread and chocolate is wonderful.
- about 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- Place chocolate chips in microwave proof measuring cup. I used a 1 cup Pyrex.
- Heat in the microwave in small increments, stirring after each.
- The chips will retain their shape somewhat, even after they are warm enough, so be sure to stir well.
- I did mine for 30 seconds, 30 seconds, 15 seconds.
- The chocolate was a little thicker than I wanted so I added a teaspoon of Crisco to thin it out. Be careful not to add too much or it will alter the flavor of the chocolate.
- Dip cooled cookies half way into the chocolate.
- Scrape the edge and bottom of cookie on the container to catch the excess chocolate.
- Once the dip was too shallow I used a small offset spatula to smooth the chocolate onto the last few cookies.
- If desired embellish with candy sprinkles.
- Allow to cool on waxed paper.
I had planned to make Paul some almond-coconut brittle for Valentine’s day, but he said he’d prefer the jam-filled Linzer cookies instead.
Here they are:
This recipe is adapted from Barefoot Contessa and is a little bit of a challenge.
3 sticks of butter (I use salted)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 ½ cups flour
Cream butter and sugar, add vanilla. Mix in flour in on low speed until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Roll out to uniform thickness and cut in desired shapes. For jam-filled cookies cut a small circle or other shape out of half the cookies. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Check frequently – cookies should be only lightly browned at he edge. Do not over bake. Allow cookies to cool completely. Dust tops with powdered sugar. Spread jam on the bottoms and assemble.
Some words of advice:
The dough can be tough to roll out. The first time I made them I didn’t mix the dough quite long enough and it was too crumbly.
This time I put the dough in the fridge to chill, but had to move on to cooking dinner. An hour and a half later when I took it out it was hard as a rock! I had to let it sit out on the counter for a while until it was workable again.
I purchased a cute set of heart-shaped cutters before Valentine’s Day so I was eager to try them out. Unfortunately, the smallest heart was not small enough to work with the cookies, so I had to cut the little hearts out by hand.
I’m pleased with how they turned out, but they are not something I want to make on a regular basis!
I received The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten for Christmas and spent the next day reading it almost cover to cover. The photos are beautiful and the instructions are simple and clear.
I couldn’t wait to try some recipes, so I started with something simple that I could do while watching the kids. Linzer cookies, as Ina calls them, are a type of shortbread cookie which is made of butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract. She actually has a few variations of the basic recipe in the book. We made the jam-filled sandwich cookies and they turned out wonderful.
I did have a little trouble getting the dough to come together in the beginning. After refrigerating for 30 minutes I tried rolling it out. The dough was still too crumbly. I added some additional vanilla extract for some moisture. After rolling out the remnants of the fist cutting again the dough finally reached a good consistency and didn’t give me any trouble as I rolled and cut several times.
The photo in the book shows beautiful round cookies with a fluted edge, with a center cut out, also fluted. I SO need to get some biscuit cutters! But luckily, I had a cute one-inch apple-shaped cutter. It’s meant to be used to cut vents in an apple pie crust, but it worked perfectly for my cookies. It worked out to a dozen large sandwich cookies. The recipe says 14-16 cookies and I could have made at least two more easily: I rolled the dough a little thick, and the kids wanted some “apple cookies” using the 1″ cutter.
They were a big hit with my husband and family so I will make them again!
Get the full recipe and instructions here: Barefoot Contessa Linzer Cookies.