Friday, September 11, 2009

Baby Chocolate Chip and Toffee Shortbread Cookies: A Really Easy Dessert Recipe


These buttery little cookies are so cute—and you know how we love cute!

"Hi!" said my friend Beth.

"It's about time you called."

"Oh?"

"I've practically gobbled up half this cookie batter already. Talking to you is the only way I'm going to stop eating it!"

This batter really is good—and the baked cookies are even better. While I adore a good butter cookie—and am constantly amazed by the number of bad butter cookies out there—I've never been much of a shortbread fan. And maybe it's just me, but shortbread recipes often seem rather fussy.

This batter comes together in less time than it takes the oven to heat up, and there's no patting anything into a pan or making decorative designs with a fork.

These cute little cookies are a like scrumptious cross between butter cookies and shortbread, combining the best qualities of each. They go well with mugs of hot coffee or cold glasses of milk, would make a dainty addition to an afternoon tea tray, and travel well so they're perfect for toting to picnics and potlucks.



I usually make my cookies extra large, but after doing some experimenting, I've decided that these taste best when small. I also applied my More, More, More philosophy, upping the mini chocolate chips and toffee bits, but ultimately reduced the amount called for in the original version. That way you taste more of the buttery cookie.

Like most shortbreads, these will keep for several days (which makes them a wonderful choice for holiday goodie boxes mailed to faraway loved ones), and I think they taste better the day after baking. They also freeze beautifully. Pack them in little cello bags tied with a colorful ribbon for handy gifts, perhaps tucked into oversized cappuccino cups. Everyone loves them.

I have no idea if they're good warm from the oven, because by the time they've finished baking I'm always way too full of batter to want one.



Baby Shortbread Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips and English Toffee Bits
Makes about 4 dozen 1¾-inch cookies — Adapted from the kitchn

**Click here to print this recipe**

The original recipe has you shape dozens of spoonfuls of dough into tiny balls and then press them lightly onto the baking sheet to flatten the bottoms. I don't have that kind of patience, so I just use a little scoop instead.

I also skipped the part where you dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate because I've never been able to do that without making a big mess, plus my chocolate never seems to completely dry. If you want a fancier looking cookie you might try it, though I think they're perfectly fine without.

I'm a sucker for any recipe that calls for English toffee bits, but these would also be good made with all mini chocolate chips or mini chips and finely chopped pecans. And for shortbread purists, I bet they'd be very nice without anything extra added at all.

1 cup (2 sticks/8 ounces) organic butter (I use salted), softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup English toffee bits,
such as Heath (the ones without chocolate)

Heat the oven to 350°.

With a hand held electric mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla, and then add the flour and salt. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the mini chocolate chips and toffee bits.

With a small scoop (I use this one, which is 1¼" across), drop cookies onto a heavy duty baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. (I love my half-size commercial baking sheets and have been using some of them for 20 years, for everything from baking lemon scones to roasting Brussels sprouts. Two dozen of these cookies will fit on one sheet, so the whole batch will bake on two trays. Unbleached parchment paper is wonderful stuff, and you can reuse each sheet several times.)

Bake until the edges are just starting to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container or freeze.

Still have a sweet tooth? You might also enjoy these:

Cookies and Bars
Molasses Ginger Spice Snaps
Chocolate Biscotti For Beginners
Toasted Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies (and how to hug a sheep)
Yip Yap Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Snaps
Choco-Oat-Butterscotch-Coconut Crazy Cookies

Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Just Peachy Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Apple Blueberry Crumble Bars

Muffins and Scones
Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins
100% Whole Grain Bran Muffins (four different flavors)
100% Whole Grain Ginger Pear Bran Muffins
White Whole Wheat Scones with Currants and Oats

Cakes, Tarts, and More
Autumn Pear and Apple Crisp
Quick Emergency Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Babycakes
Easy Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake
Heavenly Lemon Coconut Quick Bread
Chocolate, Cinnamon & Banana Mexican Monkey Cake
Really Raspberry Tartlets

Still hungry? You'll find links to all of my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the dessert first foodie farm blog where we sometimes start the day by eating cookies for breakfast—with a big glass of milk to make them healthy of course.

39 comments:

  1. Those cookies are very pretty and look so tempting!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Someone else who uses the "More, more, MORE" theme to their cooking and baking. LOL

    These look delicious! Thanks!

    ~Faith

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  3. Would the "Heath" type toffee be like our Heath Bar that also has a chocolate covering?

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  4. Oh, my. This shortbread lover just called over my 11yo daughter (baker in residence) to see these, and we'll be making them ASAP!

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  5. Those sound amazing, I think I'll make them for the guests we have coming tonight!

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  6. Guess what I'll be baking as soon as I'm done? Great recipe.

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  7. sounds delicious - of course with the words toffee and butter - you had me at hello!

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  8. These sound divine! I was looking for something to make as Halloween treats for my homeschool-Mommy friends and these fit the bill. I love that they're small & can wrap easily into a cute container. Can't wait to make them in a few weeks!

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  9. Mmm. These sound and look fabulous. I wonder if I can slip a little zucchini into them....

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  10. Oh dear God, and to think I thought about a diet today, well there goes that one!

    love, love, love shortbread.

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  11. Oh boy, I'm in trouble. Those cookies look far too scrumptious to stay on my diet ( which seems to last maybe two days here and there).....it's a whiz recipe that I can't wait to try!

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  12. Yup, I thought about a diet today, too...but that just flew out the window when I saw this recipe! you are killing me!!! (but in a really good way.) I can't wait to give 'em a try.

    By the way, I love the donkey pics - way toooo cute!! Thanks.

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  13. Yummy!!! It looks so delicious... I will try it...Thanks for the recipe!

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  14. With dairy products and grain, and if you added nuts you would have a pervect meal:) Seriously these look great. Since I'm messing with the toater oven for baking these mini cookies may be just the tickt.

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  15. Oh my! These look quite good. A good cup of coffee and a few of these tasty cookies and it would be a happy afternoon!

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  16. I made those cookies a little over an hour ago. I substituted caramel for chocolate chips and toffee, and I used almond extract instead of vanilla (I believe that by some quirk of fate, both of those were organic).

    I think I ate half the batter and thereafter half the cookies - I'm currently typing this out of sight of the freezer so I wont go steal more.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome awesome recipe for my spanking new cookie sheets!

    hahahaha the word verif thingie is "mistedbaa". No kidding.

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  17. I just made them! Oh, how dreamy and delicious they are - many, many, thanks!

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  18. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all the nice comments!

    Gretchen Joanna,
    Sorry about the delay getting back to you. Yep, the Heath bits are basically smashed up Heath bars. Hershey's makes two different kinds of toffee bits, though - one has both the chocolate and toffee (which are good but you end up with some chocolate powder and not as 'pretty' pieces) and another kind that is just the toffee bits with no chocolate.

    The last package of toffee only Heath bits I bought was labeled 'English toffee bits,' but I don't see them on the Hershey's website product page (click here). They're showing "HEATH English Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits" and "HEATH BITS 'O BRICKLE Toffee Bits" so I don't know if they've just added that 'bits o' brickle' part to the ones I was using or what.

    Okay, was that the longest answer ever to what basically a yes or no question? : )

    Guinea Pig Poet,
    LOL it's good to know there's somebody out there as bad as I am when it comes to cookies and cookie batter! :)

    Katrina,
    I'm so glad you liked them!

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  19. Thos look so amazingly delicous!

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  20. The cookies look delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Crazy question: I love that dish towel and have been looking for something like that since my favorite towels are wearing out. Do you recall where you found yours? Thanks.

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  21. I made these cookies and they are awesome! they're even better the next day... my husband couldn't stop eating them. Also - just found your blog a couple weeks ago and am really enjoying it. Thanks for blogging!

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  22. Hi Beth,
    Sorry for the delay getting back to you. That kitchen towel is from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy's. Last year (or was it the year before?) I ordered several cute designs via macys.com, and with all the specials they were having, they ended up being something like a dollar apiece. They're really nice quality and have been holding up well. I definitely recommend them - even if you have to pay a lot more than a dollar! : )

    Hi J&J,
    Welcome to the farm! So glad you're enjoying the cookies.

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  23. I made SEVERAL batches of these last week--for dessert for guests, for a church meeting, and then for a bake sale. Of course, I had some here and there and they are marvelous. One of my favorite cookies now and I shared it on my blog with a link back here. So glad I found your blog.

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  24. Delicious! I made a batch tonight. I couldn't get the batter to stick together (maybe the butter was too cold?) so I added about 1-2 Tbsp of water.

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  25. I just wanted you to know that I tried them right out of the oven and was disappointed. (Aren't warm cookies ALWAYS better?) However, I tried them the next day and was instantly in love. I've learned from others that shortbread type cookies are always better cold. I love your site and look forward to trying other recipes!
    Brenda

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  26. I just made these--saw a link you posted a few days/week ago. YUM! And so easy. Yesterday I made a half batch and today made another full batch. They are tasty fresh from the oven but much better after they have cooled.

    I didn't have any toffee chips so I just used all choc chips and they were excellent. Thank you! I never knew shortbread could be so easy. I am keeping this as a go-to recipe for sure.

    Happy Holidays!

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  27. I made you're cookies last night thank you for the post! They didn't look as mouth watering as yours but they were still delish!

    http://enticing-desserts.blogspot.com

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  28. Hi! I know this is a way-late reply to a way-old post, but man these cookies. I needed a recipe for something new and tasty (and quick, but isn't that how it always goes?), and man did these ever fit the bill.

    Poking around through the rest of the site, there's ever more things I want to try/look at, so I guess I've got to follow you now!

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  29. I posted this tip on some other post, but wanted to add it to this recipe page because now I've done it twice & it works SO well.

    If you want to bake these in the most efficient way (ie - without heating up a kitchen in the summer) the dough will roll out beautifully. I dumped it onto a big sheet of parchment in blobs & covered the blobs with a sheet of plastic wrap. Then I rolled it out with a rolling pin. The dough smoothed out to a nice thickness (between 1/4" and 1/8", around the thickness of a vanilla wafer I guess).

    I popped the parchment paper + dough sheet + plastic wrap in the fridge for about 5 minutes. Then pulled it out, removed the plastic wrap, and used a pizza wheel to cut square cookies. A butter knife lifted them off the parchment paper really easily & onto the cookie sheets (also covered in parchment).

    I only left about 1/4" to 1/2" of space between the cookies because these don't spread much. And the entire batch of dough fit on just 2 cookie sheets (meaning the oven was on for much less time).

    This dough is the nicest stuff to roll out, too. I hate rolling out dough, but this cooperated so well. In the end, you sacrifice 1 extra piece of parchment paper but save a lot of oven time. And if you have those square plastic containers, the square cookies fit in them better. These freeze beautifully, too. I think this is my favorite cookie recipe.

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  30. I love shortbread and these look like plump little puffs and I'll be making them this December. Thanks!!

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  31. Great idea with the toffee bits! I just made this recipe and a bit of a snafu - I halved the ingredients and the dough was very crumbly, so I added one egg and mixed it on low and then, poof, all better and they came out great! Do you think this is one of those recipes that "just doesn't work when deduced" or??? Thoughts? Thanks, and I am new to farmgirl and am really enjoying your site so far, thanks for all your hard work! Take it easy, MJ

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  32. Hi MJ,
    Welcome to the farm! So glad you found us and are enjoying your visits.

    As for this cookie recipe, there's no reason a half batch shouldn't work, so I'm not sure what happened. The amount of moisture and the weight of different flours can vary quite a bit, so that might have been it. If you make them again, you could try using a little less flour.

    Or is there any chance you didn't use a whole stick of butter (1/2 cup) in your version? I just noticed I only had '1 cup butter' listed on the ingredients and have changed it to '1 cup butter (2 sticks/8 ounces)' to make it clearer. I know sometimes it can get confusing with 1 cup being 2 sticks. :)

    I'm just happy you thought to add an egg and saved the day! :)

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  33. Shadow,
    Thanks so much (very belatedly) for the instructions. Your version sounds great! :)

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  34. I made these last night, with homemade butter. My coworkers gobbled them up. :-)

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  35. I made these as part of the Christmas cookie assortment that I make for my coworkers. First, they were easy. Second, they came out looking just like yours. And third, they are fantastic! Everyone loves them. I tell everyone they came from Farmgirl. Thanks, Susan!

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  36. I made these Saturday, they are wonderful!!!!! Did add the pecans. Will tell everyone I know about this site, great recipes. Thanks, Susan

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  37. Cookies don't have "batter", they have dough. Pancakes have batter. A standard butter cookie recipe wouldn't call for so much powdered sugar (eek). I will probably modify the recipe but it sounds good for Christmas pack & send stuff.

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    Replies
    1. I grew up calling it cookie batter - maybe it's a California thing. And actually, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar (which weighs less than granulated) for 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of butter isn't very much sugar at all.

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    2. ah yes, I agree Farmgirl! I was actually thinking they wouldn't be very sweet with only that much! But I am sure they are perfect :) Signed, a different Anonymous person LOL

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