Friday, May 29, 2015

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

by Sheila Connolly

This recipe is just too easy. Five ingredients, including a half-pound of butter. And a whole new way (to me, anyway) of rolling them out.

For many years I’ve been searching for a cookie recipe to recreate a kind of cookie I used to get at Trost’s Bakery in Summit, New Jersey (Peg, you remember that?). The bakery is long gone, and I have no idea who inherited the recipes. The cookies were thin, crisp buttery squares with lots of mini chocolate chips.

After a couple of weeks of consuming mushrooms, I was ready for a change of pace. Plus it’s supposed to be in the eighties this week in my end of New England, and I figured I should get my baking done before the kitchen gets too hot. So I went hunting on the Internet. I will confess: it was a pop-up ad for shortbread cookies that I saw out of the corner of my eye, and I had an aha! moment: shortbread!.

So I searched, and this is what I came up with (to give credit where it is due, it comes from a 2012 post on a blog called The Cake Merchant. If I find the author Natasha, I may kiss her feet.

Natasha’s Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used Penzey’s concentrated version, so you might want a bit more)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups mini chocolate chips

Warning: the batter has to chill for at least two hours before you cut out the cookies, so either allow plenty of time, or chill overnight.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium for about 3 minutes or until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat.

With the mixer on low, beat in the flour until it just disappears into the butter mixture (do not overbeat, or the cookies will be tough!).

Fold in the chocolate chips (if you use the mixer, keep in on low).

 Put the dough into a one-gallon ziploc bag (that zips!). On a flat surface, roll the dough out until it reaches all the edges and corners of the bag (this was the fun part! No muss, no fuss, and you know exactly what size you’re getting). It should be about 1/4 inch thick.

It worked! Isn't that tidy?

Chill the dough until firm (I put it on a cookie sheet in the fridge), at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Depending on what size and shape cookies you’re making, you may not need both.)

Take the dough out of the fridge and cut the bag away. You may cut the nice, neat square of dough with a knife (these cookies are about 2-1/2” square), or use cookie cutters. I took the simplest way.

Ready for the oven

Place the cookies on the parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven about 18-20 minutes, turning the cookie sheets once to make sure they cook evenly. You don’t want them to get brown, so watch them carefully toward the end.

Cool completely—and enjoy!

I think I’m going to try this with toffee chunks next—I don’t think this first batch is going to last long!

Yes, the new Museum Mystery, Privy to the Dead--arriving in four days!

There is more to history than the pretty stuff in glass cases in museum. You never know what you're going to dig up--and it might be evidence of a murder.

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and everywhere else (I hope!)


  1. Oh, yum, Sheila! And I love the rolling in the ziplock. Must try.

    1. Edith, I thought that was brilliant, and it works! I'm wondering what other cookie recipes it might be useful for.

  2. Yum. I'm definitely trying these!

  3. The baggie really is brilliant!
    Shortbread and chocolate. Heaven.
    I recently made Mexican Wedding cookies and added dark chocolate pieces in the center of each ball. Nice, but I need more chocolate next time!

    1. Libby, I have a recipe somewhere that's basically Mexican Wedding cookies wrapped around Hershey Kisses.

    2. That would probably be perfect.

  4. Yes, I remember Trosts and their cookies well! My mother would take us there for a cookie if we behaved while she did her shopping. I did the same with my girls. It still makes me sad it's gone--that lovely butter/sugar smell that drifted out when someone opened the door! These look heavenly and the ziplock bag is nothing short of brilliant!

  5. This sounds great! and easy also! I have my list made for the grocery store so I make sure to have everything. Thank you!

  6. Mmmm, yum! I'll be right over!

  7. This is a bang my head on the counter kind of recipe. Why didn't we think of this? Brilliant!

  8. Thinking me who can't bake might even be able to handle this recipe. Wonder if the Ziploc bag trick would work for all types of dough?

    1. I may have to make a lot more cookies and find out!

  9. Yum! Butter and chocolate, my favorites. Can't wait to try these.

  10. This recipe is going to the front of my cookie file. I love shortbread and chocolate. It is also easy to make and doesn't create a mess. In fact, I think that this recipe would be great to make with my grandchildren.

    1. I bet it would be great for kids! And the dough holds together pretty well, so you don't have to worry about them falling apart on the way to the cookie sheet.