Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies Three Ways (Easy Dessert Recipe) | The Rising Spoon

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies Three Ways (Easy Dessert Recipe)

Need an easy no-bake cookie for holiday gatherings, homemade gifts, or a dessert craving? Fix these simple chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies in less than an hour. Melt the chocolate, dip the cookies, sprinkle with fun & festive toppings, and let everything harden - that's it! Keep reading for lots of tips & ideas + three irresistible dipping and topping combos you'll love. 

I'm currently parked in a comfy chair next to a crackling fireplace, sipping on a mug of hot herbal tea, listening to the Outlander season 1 soundtrack on vinyl, and munching on one of the three remaining chocolate dipped shortbread cookies left in my snack arsenal. 

Self-care priorities.  

I dropped off most of this batch (about 30-50 cookies - I forgot to get a final count) at my beau's work two days ago so I wouldn't have them sitting around to tempt me. 

Apparently, all but one got eaten within a few hours, which doesn't surprise me.

Buttery cookies are the best cookies. (Closely followed by double chocolate peanut butter cookies or maple sweetened peanut butter cookies).

What are Shortbread Cookies?

Shortbread cookies are a traditional Scottish cookie (a.k.a. biscuit) consisting of flour, butter, sugar & salt. The primary ingredient in shortbread is flour, followed by lots of butter (mmmmm), sugar and a bit of salt (if the butter is unsalted).

The dough is formed into one of three classic shapes: wedges, rounds, or fingers then baked at a low temperature so as not to brown much.

The generous amount of butter yields a cookie with an almost melt-in-your-mouth, semi-crumbly texture that's perfect with a cup of homemade hot cocoa, hot chocolate, bulletproof coffee, or hot herbal tea. Plan on eating a few, though. They're addicting!

Options For Homemade Shortbread Cookies & Store-Bought Shortbread Cookies

Supposedly, shortbread cookies are ridiculously easy to make. But, I wouldn't know because I always buy Walkers shortbread cookies and call it a day. It's not often that I opt for packaged stuff instead of homemade, but in this case - yes!

However, if I were to make shortbread from scratch, I would 100% do it with European grass-fed butter (most likely Kerrygold), unbleached all-purpose flour, and probably coconut sugar or maple sugar blitzed in my blender to make it powdery. For simple recipes with a short list of ingredients, quality matters.

Homemade Shortbread Cookie Recipes

If you want to go the homemade route (give yourself enough time for the cookies to cool completely before dipping them), here are some recipes from food blogger friends that look amazing:

Classic Recipes

Recipes For Alternative Diets

Store-Bought Shortbread Cookies

Right now I'm happy to save a bit of time and use Walkers, especially when I plan on dipping them in all the chocolate! Feel free to use your favorite brand, just make sure the ingredients list is short & simple: flour, butter, sugar & salt. 

TIP: Since Walkers cookies are imported from Scotland some grocery stores jack up the price. I've found the best deals at either Costco, World Market, or Amazon. They all sell big tins or gift boxes with assorted Walkers shortbread cookies at a much lower cost per ounce. This is handy when you're making many chocolate-dipped cookies for gifts or want some for yourself since they have a long shelf life. 

(Note: The folks at Walkers have no idea I'm creating this post - I just love their cookies.)

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies: Three Ways

Before I made these cookies, I brainstormed a bunch of ideas for chocolate & topping combos but realized that was way too ambitious and unnecessarily complicated. So, I narrowed it down to some tried-and-true addicting flavors that you're sure to love.

First, let's start with the chocolate options for dipping. 

(You can get fancy chocolates with lots of different flavors but I'm trying to keep it simple here.)

1) Peanut Butter Cups (Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate)

Yes, I'm asking you to melt down whole peanut butter cups (not just chocolate chips + peanut butter). This idea is friggin' genius! I didn't come up with it, though. My better half did a few months ago. It was actually the whole catalyst for this recipe post. The man is a creative wellspring, I swear.

Now that I've actually tried it (see photographic evidence above) I can confirm that if you love peanut butter + chocolate, you should put melting some peanut butter cups at the top of your to-do list ASAP so you can dip every dang thing in it. 

So, so, so, so good.

2) White Chocolate Chips (Or Bar Chocolate)

After the peanut butter cup goodness, the next best thing is white chocolate chips. I'm shocked to say this, as I'm a hardcore dark chocolate fan and usually turn down white chocolate treats, BUT shortbread + white chocolate = amazing!!! Especially with some salty pretzel on top. 

Don't tell anyone, but I think that was my favorite combo out of everything I tried.

I even did an extra drizzly layer of white chocolate on top of the toppings. Mostly to keep the crushed candy in place since I dawdled during the dipping process (say that three times fast) but it looked extra pretty and added some nice texture.

3) Dark Chocolate Chips (Or Bar Chocolate) a.k.a. Bittersweet Chocolate

This is for the folks who love the cocoa taste with only a bit of sweetness. Dark chocolate pairs beautifully with shortbread cookies since they aren't very sweet either (mostly buttery). 

Pssssssst! If you're grabbing a bag of dark chocolate chips for this recipe, go ahead and make a batch of my peanut butter balls with dark chocolate & sea salt while you're at it. You can thank me later.

I love combining white and dark chocolate together to contrast the sweetness and bitterness with one another. I'll usually drizzle some white on top of the dark or vice versa if I'm melting down both for a recipe.

Topping Ideas For Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

I had SO many ideas here originally, but I don't want to overwhelm y'all (or myself) so I'm keeping the list short & sweet. This is really important when you're doing homemade food gifts or DIY craft gifts

Stick to a handful of recipes so it doesn't get crazy expensive buying all kinds of ingredients or materials for 10 different projects. 

So if you're only making chocolate dipped shortbread cookies for everyone as a holiday gift, you can get creative and have all different kinds of toppings. 

But if you're also, for example, making homemade lip balm, beard balm, flavored herb salt, sweet & salty snack mix, and candied nuts (all things I've given away as Christmas gifts)...you need to reduce the variety so you don't stress yourself out! I'm speaking from experience here. :)

Here's What I Used For Shortbread Cookie Toppings:

More Topping Ideas To Try:

  • pistachios
  • hazelnuts
  • dried cranberries or cherries
  • candied ginger (make sure it's soft & easy to chew)
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • chocolate covered espresso beans
  • chocolate covered raisins
  • chocolate covered peanuts or almonds
  • homemade toffee
  • jalapeno salt
  • candied orange peel or lemon peel
  • potato chips (avocado oil or coconut oil)
  • popcorn

Tips For Dipping & Topping Shortbread Cookies

1) Get all your toppings ready first. 

Chop, crush, toast, and measure anything you want to use and get it all in one spot next to the stove (where I presume you'll melt the chocolate). Don't skip this step because the regular chocolate solidifies quickly once you've dipped the cookie. You need the toppings to stick to the melted chocolate while it's still wet.

2) Add a teensy bit of coconut oil to the plain chocolate (white, dark or milk) before melting.

The coconut oil helps to thin out the chocolate so it's easier to dip the shortbread cookies. Depending on the shape of the cookie (some of the bigger ones are harder to dunk), I like to take a small spatula or spoon and pour the melted chocolate over the cookie, then spread off any excess. That extra bit of cooking fat helps to make it pourable.

3) If needed, drizzle extra melted chocolate over the cookies to help the toppings stick. 

If you are working in a cold kitchen or somehow get distracted during the dipping process, the chocolate-dipped cookies will solidify quickly. If that happens before you can get the toppings on them, drizzle a bit of melted chocolate on top of each hardened cookie, sprinkle on the toppings over the wet chocolate, gently press down, then drizzle a bit of extra chocolate on top (do all steps for each cookie before moving onto the next one).

4) Dip Different Parts of the Cookies For a Variety of Designs

As you can see in the pic above, I dipped my cookies a couple of different ways.

For the fingers, I covered half of each cookie (width-wise - a.k.a. half-dipped) with the melted peanut butter cup. (Next time I'll reserve a few to dip completely in chocolate.)

For the wedges, I either dipped the whole tops with chocolate or the larger end without holes. 

For the rounds, I dipped the whole tops, but it would also look lovely to dip half the cookie (top & bottom) at a diagonal. 

You could even do half white chocolate, let it dry completely, then dip the other half with dark chocolate to make a "black & white" design.

chocolate dipped cookies, shortbread cookies, half-dipped, no bake cookie, easy
desserts
American
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Author: Elaina Newton - The Rising Spoon
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Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies (Three Ways)

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies (Three Ways)

Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 50 Min
Need an easy no-bake cookie for holiday gatherings or homemade gifts? Fix these simple chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies in less than an hour. Melt the chocolate, dip the cookies, sprinkle with fun & festive toppings, and let everything harden - that's it!

Ingredients

Toppings:
  • 1/3 cup of sliced or finely chopped nuts, toasted (for the peanut butter cup cookies)
  • 6 candy canes, crushed (for the white & dark chocolate cookies)
  • 1/3 cup of pretzels, chopped (for the white & dark chocolate cookies)
  • Flaky sea salt or coarse sea salt (optional - for the dark chocolate cookies)
  • Coarse vanilla-infused sugar (optional - for the dark chocolate cookies)

Instructions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Portion the peanut butter cups, dark chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips into three separate microwave-safe bowls. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
  2. Place each bowl in the microwave and cook in 20-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate starts to lose its shape, then stir until smooth & completely melted.
  3. Dip one half (or the whole top) of each cookie in melted chocolate, let any excess drip off, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  4. Immediately sprinkle with desired toppings (so they adhere before the chocolate starts to harden). You'll need about 1 teaspoon of topping per cookie (add more or less depending on how much surface area is covered in chocolate). 
  5. Repeat with each cookie until they're all dipped & topped. You should have 16 peanut butter cup dipped cookies, 16 white chocolate dipped cookies, and 16 dark chocolate dipped cookies.
  6. Leave the cookies on the counter until the chocolate hardens (you can speed it up by placing the trays in the fridge or freezer) then store in an air-tight container at room temperature. Consume or freeze within 3 days for the best appearance (the chocolate will start to crystallize & look grainy by then). 
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