Ensconsed in Velvet

If you don’t know what I’m talking about in the title, it’s a reference to Seinfeld, which I’ve fallen for again. I haven’t had television in my home for about 3 1/2 years until recently. I know, I’m not sure how I survived, either. But rather than catching up on hip new shows, I’ve been sucked into reruns of Seinfeld and Scrubs.

What I’m really talking about, though, is red velvet. And not just your traditional red velvet cake. This is about red velvet shortbread cookies!

Red Velvet!

My sister is a member of the local MOPS group, and they’re having a bake sale and auction today as a fundraiser. Happy for any reason to bake, but especially happy when it’s for a good reason, I volunteered to donate some cookies for the sale. I wanted to pick something that would stand out a bit without being too complicated, and as I flipped through my recipe books I found these red velvet shortbread cookies. And who doesn’t like shortbread?

It’s crisp. It’s buttery. And these ones were bright red and chocolatey!  I’m a shortbread junkie, even for prepackaged varieties – a cup of coffee with six Lorna Doones was my staple breakfast through grade school and high school. So I felt it was time to try something a little more fancy and sophisticated.

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, Christmas Cookies magazine)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring (or a bit more, if you like your red velvet really red)
  • 6 ounces white chocolate (I couldn’t find good white chocolate, so I used white chips)
  • 1/2 tablespoon shortening.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place your flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the butter and food coloring. Pulse to start combining, then process until the dough just forms a ball. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender.

Lightly flour your counter or table, and knead the dough until it starts to look smooth (then wash your hands, ’cause they’ll probably be red).

Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick (the original recipe said 1/2 inch, but there was no way I would have gotten two dozen cookies from that). Choose a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter (I think mine was closer to 2 inches, but it was the smallest I had. A heart cookie cutter would be adorable with these), and cut out your cookies.

You can reroll the scraps (I only did that once. More than that and dough can get too tough). Bake the cookies until centers are set, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine your white chocolate and shortening. Microwave in 20 to 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the chips have melted. Let the chocolate cool a bit (too hot and runny and it’ll just slide off your cookies).

This is where you can get fancy with the cookies. I dipped mine, turned them a bit and dipped again – they look like little Pac-Men – but you can just dip half, dip the whole thing, or what I’ll try next time, use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Let them cool and dry on a sheet of waxed paper.

I only got about 18 cookies out of this recipe. Shortbread cookies aren’t meant to be devoured in large quantities (not that that stops me), so for this round that’s fine. I may double it next time, depending on what I make them for.

If you’re in the area, head to the MOPS bake sale and buy some cookies, or bid on something bigger!

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: What I Read: Blogger Appreciation Award « By the (cook)Book

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