I can usually say 'no' to most of the snacks and pies and cookies out there. But A 16th Century Japanese philospoher, or maybe it was Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, once said to know your weakness. These are mine.
Ever since I received that first tin of Walker's Shortbread cookies, I've had no restraint. I can eat a whole tin in one sitting. And with this recipe, I can now make my own and stash them in a giant ziploc bag in the bottom drawer of my desk. Yessss... special they are... must protect them... my favorite... my own... my Precious....
This recipe is easy and will make delicious 1/2 inch thick nuggets o' heaven. And then if you want to make them almost illegal in 17 states, temper a little chocolate and dip them.
1 pound unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour
Chocolate for dipping (optional)
Using the beater attachment, add the butter, sugar and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until combined. Add the flour and salt and mix until everything's well incorporated. Dump out the dough and flatten it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap or a large ziploc bag and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes
After the chill-down time, roll the dough out to 1/2 in thickness. Use whatever cookie cutters you'd like to make the shapes you want. Place the cookie dough on a ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with some sugar, if you'd like.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Allow them to cool on a cookie sheet.
If you want to coat them in chocolate, nuke the chopped chocolate pieces in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Nuke for another 30 seconds and stir again. Check the temperature. If it's between 115 and 120, you're done. If it's not, nuke in 15 second intervals until it reaches that point. Don't go over 120 or the chocolate will burn. Allow the chocolate to cool to between 90 and 95 degrees. At this point, dip the cookies in the chocolate or use a spoon to pour the molten chocolate over each cookie. Set them in a cool place for 2 hours to allow the chocolate to set.