Saturday, December 11, 2010

Heath Bar Shortbread Meltaways

Christmas has been sneaking up on me.  Thanks to the internet, my shopping is now under control .  It's a quiet weekend.  Paul is away visiting his family.  Today was the perfect day to start my holiday baking.  I sat with a cup of coffee this morning, looking through cookbooks, reading tattered recipe cards, and pulling out cookie recipes that I've been collecting all year.  I thought I'd spend the day mixing batters, baking off some cookies and freezing the rest.  I wanted to use ingredients that I had on hand.  I've been squirreling away cookie-baking ingredients since October.

I finally decided to start my first day of holiday cookie baking by making my mom's rugelach recipe, her spritz cookies, some sparkling ginger chip cookies, russian tea cakes, peanut butter cookies, and I was thinking of making some shortbread cookies.
I've been a busy baking elf today
This morning I came across a hand written shortbread recipe that my mom probably wrote back in the '60s.  I remembered that she liked them with her afternoon tea.  They weren't too sweet and they melted in your mouth.  I was thinking of jazzing them up with some chocolate, either chopped and added to the batter, or better yet, maybe I would dip the baked shortbread in some dark chocolate.  I started pulling all of my ingredients out of the pantry and lo and behold, a bag of Heath Bar chips was tucked between a bar of Belgium chocolate and a bag of chocolate chips.  I bought them because one of Paul's favorite candy bars is a Heath Bar.  I didn't have anything in mind to bake when I bought them.  I don't know what possessed me to do it, maybe I was missing Paul, but I decided to go a little crazy and add the Heath Bar chips to the shortbread and heck....dip them in chocolate as well.

Unfortunately, my official taste tester could not weigh in on these.  I froze some dough so I can get Paul's opinion when he gets back to NY.  I think they turned out just fine.  The sweetness comes from the candy bits.  The cookie is tender and buttery.  I think some chopped pecans would be a nice substitute for the Heath Bar chips if Heath Bars are not your thing.

Heath Bar Shortbread Meltaways
Makes about 40 cookies

  • 1 cup of softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted before measuring 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup Heath Bar Chips
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped for melting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take out cookie sheets, line with parchment paper or silpat.

In and electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat softened butter. Add confectioners sugar and cream.  Add vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes.  Add the flour on low speed.  Add the Heath Bar Chips and mix into batter on lowest speed.

Scoop out batter, and form into small 1" balls.  Place on lined cookie sheet at least two inches apart.  Press down lightly.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 13-15 minute, until firm and the edges are slightly golden.  Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing.  Finish cooling on a rack.  When cookies are thoroughly cooled, melt semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler.

Dip one end of each cookie into the chocolate, shake of excess, and place on waxed paper, allow to set.  Store cookies in an airtight container in a cool place.

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