OMIGOD OMIGOD Christmas is coming! It hit me just a couple days ago. Just as we sat down to a late lunch of canned soup and turkey sandwiches and the opening theme to Home Alone began to play, to be precise. Of course it’s not like I’ve been a scrooge or just completely oblivious for the past few weeks. We dutifully walked our Christmas tree home (a time honored, fun-til-it’s-not-anymore, Thrasher family tradition that we invented in the years before we had a car). We decorated it and the house (but not the cats, for those who have inquired). Cookies were made, malls were braved, cards were/are being written and sent (sorry if yours is late!). Hell, we even took in the holiday displays at Longwood Gardens – which I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area. But up until that moment yesterday afternoon, I was still in denial that Christmas was in fact nearly upon us.
Maybe it’s not actually the realization of the holiday itself, but the fact that now that it’s so close, my only choice is to give in. Instead of stress and anxiety when I think about what I’m going to get my in-laws, I can look with satisfaction at the pile of mostly wrapped presents sitting in our office. And although there are still things to do, and deadlines to meet, everyone seems to be sliding into this week with the kind of calm that only comes with knowing that soon you will have at least a couple of cozy days off. Combine that with fuzzy slippers, Christmas dinner, and about a dozen cookies, and even I who is self-admittedly not the warmest and fuzziest of all people, will melt contentedly into a puddle of egg nog and Christmas cheer.
So whether the spirit moved you bright and early the morning after Halloween (which seems nutty, but to each their own), you’re just getting into the groove of things this week like me, or you could care less about Christmas for a myriad of reasons but still don’t mind cookies and PTO, then here’s one more cookie recipe that’s not to be missed.
Chocolate slice and bake shortbread cookies are easy to love and easy to eat – and also as it happens, easy to make. They’re crumbly while still remaining soft, with crunchy edges and deep, dark chocolate flavor that’s as well matched with a tall glass of milk as is it is with a hot cup of coffee (which obviously means they’re appropriate for breakfast AND dessert). Admittedly, they’re not the most beautiful holiday cookie that came to the party – but what they lack in glitz and glamour they more than make up for in likeability. And I’ll take likeable over pretty every damn time. So for all you last minute cookie bakers – this is your jam. I hope you have a great holiday with family and friends and eat all the most delicious things!
Slice and Bake Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
These cookies have soft middles, crunchy edges, and taste more like a brownie than any old cookie ever had the right to. Also they’re slice and bake…so I rest my case.
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes (plus chilling time)
- Cook Time: 15 Minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 28 Cookies
- Category: Cookies
½ C dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
2 C all-purpose flour
⅓ C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ C brown sugar
½ C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 egg white, lightly beaten
½ C turbinado or raw sugar
Melt the chocolate in your microwave in 15-30 second bursts, stirring in between (or over a double boiler). Set aside.
Sift the cocoa powder and salt into the flour. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and both sugars, using a handheld or stand mixer, until thoroughly combined – about 3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
Add half of the flour/cocoa mixture and mix until no dry spots remain. Repeat with the remaining flour/cocoa.
The dough will look a little crumbly, but will start to come together into a shaggy ball. If there are dry bits in the bottom of the bowl, mix them in by hand with a rubber spatula.
Divide the dough in half. Dump each half out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and form into a log, 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough tightly in the plastic wrap and then wrap that in foil or parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Chill the dough in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Spread the turbinado sugar on a rimmed baking sheet.
Unwrap your dough and brush it evenly with the beaten egg white.
Roll the dough in the sugar, making sure to coat the sides of the dough evenly, pressing to adhere.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into ½ inch slices and place on a parchment lined baking sheet with an inch of space in between each cookie.
Bake for 13 minutes. Or until the tops are just set and don’t look too shiny (they will still be very soft to the touch).
Let cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
To make these ahead, freeze the dough for up to a month. Then transfer it to the fridge about an hour before you’re ready to coat in sugar, slice, and bake.
Keywords: slice and bake cookies, easy christmas cookies, chocolate cookies