We got this recipe from a friend of a family member. Apparently, these little shortbread cookies were the hit of the teachers' workroom at an elementary school. We figured any humble cookie that can wow a bunch of teachers—who've eaten more cookies than they can count—was worth trying. And guess what? Totally worth it.
These are great cookies for people who don't like too-sugary desserts. There's only 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in the whole batch, although you do have chocolate chips and toffee chips, and they are dipped in chocolate. But really, they are crumbly and buttery, just like good shortbread should be, and not too sweet.
One caveat on the cookies pictured here: We could not for the life of us find mini Heath bar chips in Manhattan. So we substituted some finely chopped hazelnuts (cutting down on the sweetness even more). These cookies were delicious, but we've had the version with Heath chips, and we have to say they're better.
Chocolate Chip and Toffee Shortbread Cookies
makes about 4 dozen
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
3/4 cup mini Heath chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Mix in the flour until combined, then stir in (or add with the mixer on the slowest speed) 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the Heath chips.
Shape spoonfuls of dough into small balls, about one inch wide. Place two inches apart on a cookie sheet that has either been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Press down lightly to give each cookie a slightly flat surface to rest on.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until fairly firm to the touch. (Note: Ours took about 15 minutes because we made our balls a bit bigger than we planned. They will just be beginning to get the tiniest bit brown.) Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the pan, as shortbread is very brittle.
Melt the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler, stirring frequently until smooth. Dip one end of each cookie into the chocolate, then place on waxed paper or parchment paper until set (you can speed them up in the refrigerator if necessary). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella. Recipe courtesy of Sheri Burkeen.)