So, what do you do the night before
After an intense seven-hour-shift (new camera here I come!) I returned home just to cover myself with flour, butter and sugar immediately and found satisfaction for a few hours in my own little baking refugium (had the house for myself for the evening - no one trying by to interrupt for sneaking some crumbs.. ;-)). Christmas time is a perfect excuse for infinite cookie production, so even if my head wouldn't work out something fancy, basic ingredients were easily turned into pure bliss with the magic of a simple oven.
One of the worlds most easiest yet totally delicious cookies is shortbread: crisp and crumbly with a buttery yet fine taste - props to the Scots for spreading this magic little goodies around the globe!
I've opted for whole wheat flour to justify it as "carbo-loading" to keep me alive for the upcoming 10k and used brown sugar for the ultimate slight caramel taste.
Cut into the classic finger shape and then slathered with dark chocolate, sprinkled with chopped dried cranberries and green pistachos and decorated with some more (white) chocolate they also combine christmas colours and tastes - so you just need to bake these for friends and family (keeping the majority for yourself of course ;-)) for the holidays (yes, that's another excuse, just in case you don't have any running events coming up). I went ahead with the carb excuse, tasted
After some sleep and two hours waiting for the starting signal I completed some successful kilometers in a quite respectable time of 1 hour and 42 seconds and was just too excited to return home and photograph the cookies for you guys! Some more cookies disappeared during the shooting (replenishing carb stores, excuse number four) and my weekly latte macchiato wouldn't be complete without some more shortbread (coffee time, excuse number five). I currently have another, because who are we kidding, thinking requires heaping amounts of energy (at least in my complicated, crazy mind - excuse number six) or writing's just better when you have the subject right before your eyes (in this case right between your teeth... - excuse number seven).
Okay, okay, I see enough excuses for now, don't want to degrade these shortbreads because really, they need NO excuse at all! Go ahead, make them and cherish a happy first advent and christmas time with friends and family!
Note: I shared these with my family and my sis confirmed that those are better then the one's from our grandmother (comparison - excuse number eight) and let me tell you, that's a word because she's mostly not a whole wheat lover (finding new favourite shortbread, excuse number... - sorry, I stop it, promise!)!
Chocolate Covered Cranberry Pistacho Shortbread
- makes about 2 to 2 and 1/2 dozen cookies (based on an old handwritten recipe I've found in my collection, don't know the source!)
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Butter (Use the best one you can get you're hands on, it really makes a difference!)
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 100 g Dark Chocolate
- 25 g White Chocolate
- 1/3 cup Chopped Dried Cranberries
- 1/3 cup Chopped Green Pistachos
1. Preheat your oven to 175°C, line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cream together the butter and sugar, starting on low and then gradually increasing the speed until they're well combined. Gradually add in the flour and knead with your hands for 3-5 minutes until a uniform dough resembles, then keep kneading for another two minutes.
2. Put the whole dough onto your baking tray, pressing it down into a rectangle (~1 inch/2.5 cm thick) then top with another sheet of parchment paper or some plastic foil and roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin. It should be 0.2 inch/0,5 cm thick. Now cut it into the typical finger shape with a long, sharp knife. If you exclude the topping you might consider pricking the tops with a fork.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on top. Remove from the oven and let cool on the countertop for 5 minutes. Meanwhile melt both chocolates individually. Spread the dark chocolate on the shortbread and sprinkle with the cranberries and pistachos. Then decorate with the white chocolate: dip a fork in the chocolate, and quickly wave it above the cookies without touching the surface, this will create a nice splash pattern. Let cool for further 10 minutes, then finally cut the still warm shortbreads apart (carefully, as they break easily while still warm!) and let them stand for further cooling until the chocolate hardens. Keep in airtight containers for 2-3 weeks. Enjoy!