Vanilla Sugar Shortbread Wedges

Last year, I took part in the LA Food Bloggers Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry!  I met so many wonderful bloggers and had a great time.  Plus, I had BLD‘s life-changing Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes.  So really, it was a win-win day!

This year, my wonderful husband spotted a newspaper article asking for volunteer bakers for a No Kid Hungry Bake Sale closer to home!  The Redlands Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry sponsored by a Team called the IE Cookie Monsters.  It had to be fate!  You know how I feel about cookies!!

After sending an Email to Team IE Cookie Monsters, I started planning what I wanted to bake. Of course, I had to make brownies. That seems to be a tradition now.  I knew I wanted to do something different, but what?   After a bit of recipe searching, I settled on these easy and delicious Vanilla Sugar Shortbread Wedges.  They are thick, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, have with a cup of tea on a rainy day, cookies.
Scored Shortbread Wedges

I’m planning on making these again for Mothers Day.  That is, if I can wait that long for another batch.

Vanilla Sugar Shortbread

Vanilla Sugar Shortbread

Ingredients:

2 Sticks Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup Vanilla Sugar (or regular sugar, with one tsp vanilla bean paste), plus extra for dusting

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

2 cups Flour

1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until it turns a pale yellow.  On a sheet of parchment paper, sift sugars together using a fine mesh sieve. Pick up the parchment paper and use it to gently add sugar mix to the butter. Continue to beat until thick and creamy (about 5 minutes).  If you are using regular sugar, add the vanilla paste after you’ve creamed the sugar and butter together.

Sift flour and salt together over the same sheet of parchment paper.  Add to butter/sugar mix, mix until just incorporated.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

After dough has chilled, press gently in an 8″ round cake pan.  No need to grease the pan, there is plenty of butter in the dough!  Score the dough into wedges, so it will be easier to cut when it’s done baking.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the top of the shortbread has barely browned.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Cut the shortbread along the score marks, forming eight large wedges.  Dust lightly with 1 tsp granulated sugar.

Share these with a friend and a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Vanilla Shortbread Wedges

NOTE:  These make very thick cookies.  You can split the dough in half and use two cake pans.  Shorten your cooking time to 35-40 minutes (watch carefully).  You can also roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use cookie cutters.  If you use cookie cutters, place the dough back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking.  Baking cold cookies will help them maintain their shape.

ENJOY!!

Potato Chip ‘N Chocolate Cookies

Potato chips are my favorite snack! When I saw these cookies on a Facebook link from Smitten Kitchen, I knew I was in trouble. Potato chips in a cookie? Seriously? This could be my dream come true!!
It took me less than five minutes to print the recipe and get to the kitchen!

This recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s Potato Chip Cookies. (Honestly, how have I missed Potato Chip Cookies for this long?) The cookie is a shortbread type. I didn’t have pecans in the pantry and you know I couldn’t wait so…I used mini chocolate chips instead of the nuts. That’s right. Chocolate and potato chips. You’ll thank me later.

There are two different finishing options for these cookies. The first is a potato chip/sea salt finish and the other involves dipping the cookies in chocolate. I made both! Let’s be honest Ladies, there are just certain times when you crave chocolate and salt together. Maybe we should rename these cookies to PMS Goodness?

Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 cup total)
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (the original version calls for 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans)
1/2 cup finely crushed plain potato chips
2 cups all-purpose flour

Potato Chip & Sea Salt Finish
1 TBLS crushed potato chips
1 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt

Chocolate Dip Finish
4 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth. Add the chocolate chips, potato chips and flour, mix until just combined.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Scoop a tablespoon-sized mound of dough and form it into a small ball with the palms of your hands. Roll the ball in the sugar until coated. Place on prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass.

Repeat with the remaining dough. The cookies only need to be an inch apart. They don’t spread. If you’re using the Sea Salt finish, sprinkle the cookies with the chip/salt mix.

If you’re going to use the chocolate finish, bake them without topping.

Bake cookies until lightly golden at the edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
If dipping in chocolate, melt with butter in a double boiler or in short bursts in the microwave and stir until smooth. Dip half of each fully cooled cookie in the chocolate, and let dry and harden on a wire rack. I didn’t have a clean rack, so I put mine on wax paper and put them in the fridge.

Of course, I had extra potato chips (what girl doesn’t?) so I took it a step further…

I used BOTH finishings together! These are dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled with potato chips and sea salt. How amazing does that look? They taste just as delicious too! I’d offer to share but their aren’t any left.

Let me know if you need help eating yours too. 🙂

Much Love,

Sara

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