I thought I was too good for shortbread. I thought surely I could make something better than a simple cookie that just combines butter, flour, and sugar. I mean, how good can those 3 things taste in combination with each other?
SO GOOD. I’m a shortbread convert. I am a believer now! This batch of shortbread that I spiked with honey and vanilla is like a giant buttery graham cracker. It hit my taste buds like a slap in the face. A slap in the face that I needed, by the way. What was I thinking, acting like I was too good for a simple cookie? Simple is gooooood.
These cookies only have a handful of ingredients, but when they bake up in the oven and develop that brown crust, they start to taste like toffee and caramel. And graham crackers. And then you start craving a toasted marshmallow to sandwich between them.
You don’t have to dip them in chocolate, but I think it really drives home that s’mores flavor. The cookies are just as good plain. I ate the first batch plain. And then I had romantic notions of summer being on its way and dreamt up adding chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Not a bad dream at all.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit, and lightly spray a 9” round springform pan with cooking spray. (You can also use a regular round cake pan, but be sure to spray it very well. If the pan isn’t nonstick, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper).
Slice the softened butter and add it to a medium bowl. It should be soft to the touch, but not room temperature. Add the powdered sugar, honey, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until homogeneous, about 1 minute.
Next, add the flour and beat until just combined. Do not over mix.
Transfer the dough to the cake pan. Dip your fingers in flour, and use them to push the dough out into an even circle. It should be about 1/4” thick. It is important to ensure an even height across the pan.
Next, prick the dough all over with a fork, about 25 times.
Place the cake pan on a baking sheet, and bake for 32-34 minutes. Do not be afraid of a golden brown color—this is what gives the cookies caramel and the best flavor.
Let the shortbread cool for 1 minute, then pop open the springform pan (if using). Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough into 8 or 10 slices, however big you like your shortbread cookies. If using a regular cake pan, careful tilt the shortbread out of the pan, and then remove the parchment paper. Slice into 8-10 slices.
Let the shortbread cool completely.
In a small glass bowl, add the chocolate and coconut oil. Pulse in the microwave for 20 second pulses, stirring between each pulse, until the chocolate is almost melted all the way. Remove it from the microwave, and stir to melt the chocolate fully—the heat of the bowl should melt it completely.
Dip each shortbread cookie in the chocolate, and move to wax paper to set. To speed up setting, place in the refrigerator to set.
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Christina Lane is the author of 3 cookbooks all about cooking and baking for two. She has scaled down hundreds of recipes into smaller servings so you can enjoy your favorite dishes without the leftovers! Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday.