Saturday, 18 May 2013

Toffee Chocolate Shortbread

I recently bought several LorAnn bakery emulsions.  Have you heard of them? They are flavorings that don’t fade in intensity after baking, as alcohol based extracts do.  I really wanted to experiment with the Butter Vanilla emulsion and use it in something that would highlight the flavor.  I normally don’t go for shortbread, but I didn’t have any eggs, so it fit the bill. I added toffee bits to give it some caramelization. Toffee bits are my secret weapon for cookies – they take them to another level.  Let’s see how Butter Vanilla works…
Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Toffee Chocolate Shortbread
Adapted from here.

1 cup salted butter, softened
2/3 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 teaspoon LorAnn Butter Vanilla (or vanilla extract)
2 cups flour
1/3 cup toffee bits
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate

1.  In a stand mixer, beat butter for a minute until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy.
2.  Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.
3.  Add flour and mix on low just until incorporated.  It will have a crumbly texture.
4.  Fold in toffee bits and chopped chocolate.
5.  Put in a ziplock bag (10.5” x 11”) and roll out with a rolling pin with the bag open so that the dough spreads evenly in the bag.  Close and refrigerate overnight.
To bake:
6.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
7.  Open bag by slicing the sides.  Cut into squares (I got 24).  Dock with a fork (prick with a fork so that it pierces to the bottom of the cookie).
8.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 14 minutes – an extra minute or 2 if you like more caramelized edges.  Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before cooling on a rack.
Ready to pack into a ziplock.

Verdict: These were great! Crispy with caramelized edges. The Butter Vanilla emulsion gave it a subtle vanilla flavor that fit the cookie well.  Some of the other emulsions are strong, so it was nice that this one was more subtle and natural tasting.  I loved how there are such few ingredients in shortbread but the end cookie is soo good!

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