After a few days of not baking, I NEEDED to bake something and I didn't have any eggs. You can make many things without eggs, but you can't bake much without them. Then it dawned (donned?) on me that I could make shortbread. But I made shortbread stars for the holidays, and while they were very tasty, I wanted something different. So cinnamon-y chocolate shortbread it was.
I whipped everything up in a matter of minutes and hoped to be eating a sugary finger shortly after, but it didn't happen :-( The recipe says to bake the shortbread in an 8x12-inch pan. I only had an 8x11. I didn't think it would make much difference but they took forever to to bake. I don't know if it was all me, or if the recipe just isn't right on the timing. Despite what she may think, Martha is not perfect. I blame the recipe.
I kept running back to the oven every 5 freakin' minutes to check if they were done. The first couple times it wasn't a big deal, but every five minutes for 30 minutes is 6 extra times to the oven. Not fun. I was starting to resent these cookies and it was a shame because they were smelling SO good. I think next time (because there will be a next time) I'll bake them in a 9x13-inch pan. They may be a little thinner, but it'll be worth my sanity. Don't you think?
- 3 sticks (1 ½ cups) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
- 2 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 4 ½ tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
- Heaping ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 12 by 8 inch rimmed baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the long sides; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt and baking soda until combined. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture, and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Using a small offset spatula, evenly spread dough in prepared baking pan. Chill in the freezer until dough is firm, about 15 minutes. Prick dough all over with a fork; bake until just firm to the touch, about 20 minutes*. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool a bit. Then while still fairly warm, use a large knife to cut shortbread into 4 by 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cool completely in pan. Can be kept in an air tight container for up to 1 week.
NOTE: I baked my shortbread in a 8x11-inch pyrex dish (the recipe calls for a 8x12) and it took far longer than 20 minutes. In fact, it was closer to 50 minutes! I was worried they'd burn, but they were still jiggly in the center. When they firm up and dry out a bit (no longer shiny), they're done, but it may take longer than the time the recipe states. I let them cool overnight and even the next day, they were still a bit soft in the middle. They were cooked throughout, but I think they could have dried out a little more.
So if you want to make these (and you should), make sure your calendar is clear, because you'll be running back and forth to the oven, just a few times. Just think of it this way, you'll burn up the calories you'll be consuming when you eat these buttery shortbread :-)