Who doesn't love shortbread? It's just butter and sugar held together with some flour, how can you go wrong? Any excuse to eat butter is okay with me! I was at my favorite bakery a few weeks ago and they had bags of peppermint shortbread for sale. The cookies were calling to me, but I knew I could make the same thing at home so I resisted and went home to search the internet for a recipe. I found the perfect recipe in multiple places online. It originally called for espresso powder, so I just replaced that with some peppermint extract and my peppermint shortbread craving was satisfied. Combining the buttery goodness of shortbread with some chocolate, and then throwing in a little peppermint extract results in the perfect cookie.
One of my favorite parts of this recipe was the method for rolling out the shortbread. When you first make the dough you throw it into a gallon size plastic bag and then roll it out to an even thickness right inside the bag. After a couple hours in the fridge all you have to do is cut the dough out of the bag and cut the cookies into whatever size and shape you want. Transfer to cookie sheet and bake. Super easy!
Peppermint-Chocolate Chip Shortbread
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula.
Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into little squares or rectangles. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.
If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.