Makes about 4 dozen 2 inch cookies
These chocolate shortbread cookies are topped with disks of semisweet chocolate nonpareil candies. While nonpareils are available in most supermarkets, those purchased from a specialty candy store will be well worth the investment. Not only are these candies available in assorted flavors of semisweet, milk, and bittersweet chocolate, but some are covered with rainbow nonpareils.
Because these cookies are made with shortbread-style dough, take care not to overwork the mixture, otherwise the dough will become too soft to handle.
Pan prep: Well buttered
Oven temp: 350 degrees
Chilling time: 45-60 minutes
Baking time: 11-13 minutes
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
- ½ cup strained Dutch-processed cocoa powder, spooned in and leveled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
- 1 cup strained confectioners’ sugar, spooned in and leveled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons seedless raspberry preserves
- 48 semisweet chocolate nonpareil candies
Strain together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on low speed until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar with the vanilla and mix just until blended.
Add half of the dry ingredients and mix briefly to incorporate. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining dry ingredients by hand, working the mixture just until the dough in smooth. Do not over mix.
Scrape the dough onto a strip of plastic wrap, then shape it into a 6 x8 inch rectangle. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate until firm, 45 to 60 minutes.
Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 3500. Butter the cookie sheets well.
Using a pastry scraper, divide the dough into 48 1” squares. Roll each square into a ball and arrange about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Place the granulated sugar in a shallow dish. Dip a flat-bottomed glass into the sugar, then press down on each ball to form a 2” disk. Using a small spatula, spread a dab of preserves on the bottom of a nonpareil and lightly press the candy, topside up, into the center of each disk.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until the cookies feel set on top. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back toward the end of baking time. Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes before loosening with a metal spatula. They will harden as they cool. When firm enough to handle, transfer the cookies to cooling racks.
Storage: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks. These cookies may be frozen.
Cookie Characteristics: Versatile, long shelf life, temperature sensitive.