Shortbread Cookies loaded with Chocolate Chips, Sour Cherries, Apricots, Peanuts, and Pistachios
These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are overflowing with chocolate, sour cherries, apricots, peanuts, and pistachios.
There is so much going on in these tasty little shortbread cookies. Packed with dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate, each bite delivers some new combination of sweet, salty, fruity, chocolate, nuttiness.
Shortbread is a simple combination of butter, sugar, and flour. The name comes from the fact that the butter "shorts" the flour in the dough, preventing it from forming strands of gluten. This creates very tender cookies that literally melt in your mouth.
There are generally two methods for making shortbread.
The first calls for the baker to cut the butter into the flour and sugar, much as you would for a pie crust. The second method, which is used in this recipe, calls for creaming the butter and sugar before gently mixing in the flour.
This method creates a creamy consistency that does a good job of "holding in" other ingredients. And these shortbread cookies certainly have plenty of other ingredients to hold onto.
Forming and Baking these shortbread cookies
The method I used to shape and bake these shortbread cookies comes from an old Cook's Illustrated recipe. The shortbread is shaped inside the collar of a springform pan, baked quickly at high heat, then slowly at low heat before being allowed to rest in a warm oven to dry out and finish cooking. This method consistency turns out shortbread cookies that are crisp, tender, and dry throughout, just as shortbread should be.
To get wedges with a slightly blunt tip, the shortbread cookies are baked with a 2-inch biscuit cutter in the center. This also gives you a handy way of testing to see if the shortbread is done baking. Simply remove the cut out round shortbread cookie from the oven, allow it to cool slightly and then taste for doneness.
Used in this recipe:
More Shortbread Recipes You Might Like:
- Cherry Shortbread Crumble Bars
- Double Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
- Peach Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
- Mocha Almond Sables
- Coffee and Cream Cookies
These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are packed to overflowing with chocolate, sour cherries, apricots, peanuts, and pistachios.
- ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts
- ½ cup roasted, salted pistachios
- 13 tbsp (6 ½ oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ cup dried apricots, diced
- ¾ cup dried sour cherries
- 1 ¼ cups semi-sweet or bittersweet mini chocolate chips
- 3 oz. semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate
- Put the peanuts and pistachios in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and pulse 4 or 5 times just to break up some of the nuts. You should have some pieces of finely chopped nuts, a few whole ones, and everything in-between.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a closed upside down collar (groved side up) of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan in the center of the baking sheet. (Do not use the bottom of the pan.)
- Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for a few seconds just to mix the sugar in with the butter so it doesn't fly all over your kitchen, then on medium-high for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds, until fully incorporated.
- Add the flour and salt to a bowl, stir with a wire whisk to combine, then add to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed just until the dough is starting to come together, about 15-20 seconds. Add the dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- Dump the dough into the center of the springform pan collar and press it into an even layer. Place a 2-inch biscuit cutter in the middle of the dough and cut out the center. Lay the round shortbread cookie on the baking sheet next to the springform collar and put the biscuit cutter back into the center of the dough. Open the collar, but leave it in place. This will give the cookies some room to expand while baking. Cover the shortbread with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the shortbread from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and bake for 5 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes longer, just until the edges are beginning to brown slightly.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and turn the oven off. Use a sharp knife to score the shortbread into 16 wedges, cutting about halfway through the surface.
- Return the shortbread cookies to the turned off oven and prop the oven door open with the handle of a wooden spoon so that there is about a one-inch gap at the door's opening. Let the cookies sit inside the warm oven for 30-45 minutes, until they are firm, yet yielding to the touch. After 30 minutes, remove the one round shortbread cookie from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Cut into it and taste for doneness. If it tastes done, remove the cookie sheet from the oven, place on a rest baking rack, and let sit, uncovered, for 2 hours.
- Add the 3 oz of chocolate to a small bowl and melt in the microwave: cook for 1 minute at half power, remove and stir, and then continue to heat at half power in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until melted.
- Remove the springform collar. Drizzle the cookies with the melted chocolate. Let sit for 30-60 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up a bit, then use a sharp knife to cut along the scored lines into 16 wedges.
- Store the cookies at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 1 week.
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