Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Barefoot Contessa's Shortbread Cookies

Last night I made shortbread cookies for the very first time...this was a very good decision!
These cookies are DREAMY!!!

I chose to make Ina Garten's (The Barefoot Contessa) recipe, because everything I've made of hers has always made me look like a better cook than I really am!  These cookies are so easy to make, and they are incredibly buttery, light and delicious!!!  My husband loves shortbread cookies, and he went wild over these!  Well, we both did!

These cookies are "deceptively light", as Mr. Cozy said, because of all the butter that's actually in them!  I've been wanting to make these for some time, so I thought what's a better time to try a new cookie recipe than at Christmas?!?

So after sugaring half of them and dipping the the other half batch of cookies in tempered semisweet Scharffen Berger chocolate we had to indulge in a couple while watching The Holiday in front of the fire last night.  Sigh. Perfect night with my hubby! 

Today we're enjoying just a couple more with milk and are now going to our neighbor's homes to deliver the rest!  What is better than receiving a surprise tin of homemade cookies around Christmas-time, and perhaps in return you get to spend a little time with people you don't often see!  After that, we will be having a wrapping "party".  Sounds more fun that way, right?!

The Barefoot Contessa's Shortbread Cookies

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
(I also used some sparkling sugar for sprinkling)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces "very good" semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
(I used about 4 oz. because I wanted to leave half the batch plain.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined.

Add the vanilla.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt.

(This sifter has seen better days...)

Add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture.

Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.

Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter.
 I used a 1 1/2 in. round biscuit cutter instead.

Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Put half of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

(This method is tempering. It prevents the chocolate from burning and ensures a very smooth and glossy finish even after cooled.)

Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.

 Eat up or Give Away--Either way, you'll get pleasure!


  1. Those cookies look absolutely wonderful. Shortbread with chocolate....I'm sold!!!

  2. These cookies sound fabulous. Pat

  3. Hi there visiting from Tabletop Tuesday... these cookies look scrumptious!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe I may have to give these a try.

    Your tree and fire place look great! xo HHL

  4. Oh I love, love, love shortbread cookies and these look sooooooooo good. Your tree is stunning and of course you are welcome to join TTT. I think your tray of cookies is a gorgeous vignette. Enjoy, I need to make some. Hugs, Marty

  5. Hi Leslie,

    These cookies look delicious...
    Love them dipped in chocolate, YUM!
    Your Christmas tree is just gorgeous
    all trimmed and glowing!
    Have a great week!
    All the Best,

  6. I'm drooling. Shortbread is my favorite!


  7. They look so good. I've never been disappointed with a BC recipe and this is my "go to" shortbread! Love the half dipped in chocolate!

  8. Yummy I JUST MADE THOSE SAME COOKIES TODAY. I added a glaze to mine and
    used a star to cut them out.
    Your tree is lovely.

  9. Oh yummy cookies! I love shortbread and am going to do my Christmas baking this weekend so these will definitely be on my list. Your house looks adorable! Merry Christmas, Patty

  10. This looks like such a delicious, yummy cookie! I always want to try everyone of your recipes! Your house looks precious too :-)

    Merry Christmas!!


  11. Hi Leslie, oh yum, these look so so good. I'm sure I'd make a pig of myself over these. You'd have to drag me away from the plate!! Also just read your post on the wonderful coke cake on those fab dishes. I've never seen these before, now I'm all crazy about finding some. Red transferware is one of my faves so now I'm on a mission! thanks so much for coming by to visit. Have a merry Christmas! xo

  12. There is nothing better than getting homemade gifts from the kitchen. Those are my favorite gifts. How did I not know about your lovely blog? You have a new follower!!! Us southern girls gotta stick together.

  13. I love Ina Garten and these are just so pretty too. I love the little cutter you used to get the scalloped edges. I hope you have a wonderful blessed Christmas.

  14. coming over from Jam Hands! Love Shortbread Cookies - just baked and posted some myself:

    Happy Holidays

  15. Leslie,
    These look amazing! I also have to try that Coca Cola Cake. I see you went to Patti's. I am from Western KY. More Northern than around LBL. You have a great blog here! Thanks for stopping by! I am following you back.

  16. Hi Leslie! Thank you for visiting me at Simplify and leaving me such a nice comment. And now I am eager to view your blog and see all of your fun posts. I too love Ina! Everything she makes is excellent!!! I will be back for sure. I am your newest follower!
    XO Kris

  17. Thank you for sharing Ina's recipe. Delightful cookies indeed and my daughter is savoring every bite. We baked the cookies together and had a fun time. We did a bit of an experiment and added 2 tbs of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of lemon zest. It turned out great too.
    Love your blog - very cozy and welcoming. Best wishes.


    Ps how long can you keep he cookies in tin containers? Have you tried freezing them to preserve shelf life? Thanks.

  18. Found this one while trying to find a classic to shake up

    If you are looking for an easier way to cut them... Roll the dough into a log and then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes then you just slice off rounds as thick as you like.

  19. I just made these! I made a few changes, too. I chopped up candied pecans that I had made last week. I got the dough made and into the fridge, when I realized I had not added the pecans! So I pulled it out, and folded the dough a few times, adding the pecans. I reformed the disk and refridgerated for about an hour. I used a scallop-edged round cutter ~ looks to be about two inched in diameter. I baked at 350 degrees per the instructions; however, I set the time for 15 minutes. I took them out immediately ~ they were firm to the touch, but not brown at all. Taste test: they are fantastic! I will be making these again. The candied pecans added just the right touch. Fifteen minutes was perfect for my oven (middle rack). I have the second cookie sheet in as I type! I could have sprinkled with sugar before baking but completely forgot to do so ~ they are still great ~ tender and buttery.

  20. I made these using Rum instead of vanilla. Exponentially BETTER & 4 batches were completely gobbled down before I bit into my first one! LOL!


Thank you for sweetening my day with your cozy comments!