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The End of the World and Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread

December 20, 2012

Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread

After our workout this morning Greg suggested that I weigh myself “just to know where you’re at going into the holidays.”

What?

A weigh-in could squash my “ho ho ho” in one fell swoop. I avoid the scale especially in the cold months when it’s easy to hide extra padding under a woolly sweater. Still, I agreed. In spite of a strong foreboding feeling, I couldn’t make an intelligent argument for why it was a bad idea.

“Okay, you look,” I said as I stepped onto the cold metal scale with my bare feet. “If it’s above my magic number, don’t tell me what it is.” I looked at Greg. He dropped his eyes to the number on the scale.

“I mean it. Don’t tell me if it’s bad.” He looked up from the scale in silence.

“Well?” I asked.

“You said not to tell you.”

“So it’s above the magic number?”

Damn eggnog.

“You’re probably just backed up,” he said.

Yes, those are the words of consolation he chose.

“Well, how far above the magic number is it?” I prodded.

“I thought you said you didn’t want to know.”

“I know what I said, but now I know that it’s bad. You might as well finish me off.”

“You’re a pound over your number,” he conceded.

Pizza. Tiramisu. Pesto cream sauce. Triple cream brie. Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

I stomped off to the bathroom before Greg could offer his usual advice, “You could always cut out the wine.” I stared at my reflection in the mirror. And just then, something magical happened, something unprecedented and completely unexpected: I didn’t care what the scale had to say, not today. People out east were burying their first graders and teachers. Still more were homeless in the wake of superstorm Sandy. My face was hot with shame that quickly gave way to an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

Five minutes later I was crunching away on my favorite holiday cookie of 2012, Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread–breakfast.

If the World ends tomorrow as the Mayans predicted, I’m taking a few extra pounds with me, but no regrets. And if the Mayans got it wrong, as I’m wont to believe, have a very merry Christmas!

Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread

My sister introduced me to these addictive little buggers a couple years ago. I fell hard when the salt crunched between my teeth. They’re a variation of Martha Stewart’s recipe for Holiday Shortbread. Make a double batch: one for sharing and another to keep all for yourself.

Ingredients

    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, plus more for finishing
    3/4 cup mini chocolate morsels

Preparation

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Mix in the chocolate morsels.
  2. Form dough into 1 1/2-inch-thick round or square logs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes (or up to 1 month).
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
  4. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place on prepared sheet pans. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt. Bake until cookies are light golden brown on the bottoms, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on sheets. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2012 12:02 am

    Greg! I think you get his cookies for that. All of that. :) Happy holidays!

  2. December 21, 2012 3:43 am

    Oh my those look good. Salt and chocolate go together very well too!

  3. herbgirl permalink
    December 21, 2012 3:57 am

    Yum,,,,YUM,,,,,,YUM……..they are my favorites, too!

  4. December 21, 2012 9:29 am

    I’m with you. There is enough sadness in our world, let’s enjoy ourselves. That reminds me – after the holidays lets schedule another glutinous meal! Happy Holidays and you always look awesome to me!

  5. December 21, 2012 10:31 am

    I have to admit, I was beginning to think that Greg was your imaginary husband. He just seemed too perfect and too good to be true. I am so relieved to discover that he is indeed real and sometimes makes less than helpful comments! (like husbands everywhere).
    As usual, you put it all into the proper perspective.
    P.S. If the world were coming to an end, Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread would be on the menu for my last meal!

  6. January 8, 2013 11:52 am

    Just came across your blog and I love it. Beautiful!

  7. Katie permalink
    January 11, 2013 9:39 am

    These were absolutely phenomenal. There is nothing like a bit of salt to hook us non-sweet lovers. They crumbled perfectly in your mouth like shortbread should, plus had the subtle sweetness from the butter and chocolate and that surprise of salt. Perfect.

    • January 15, 2013 11:36 am

      So happy you enjoyed them. Our pizzelles were my hands-down favorite this year. I’ll never be able to wait until Christmas for more.

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