These starry chocolate shortbread are easy to make. Melt in the mouth shortbread is dipped into dark chocolate and then colourful sugar stars are scattered over to make these delightful little biscuits.
JUMP TO THE RECIPE | JUMP TO THE CARB INFO
Something AMAZING happened this morning, something that left me feeling like a different person for the rest of the day – well until 10am at least. Dave and I were woken to the gentle chatter of GP our 1 year old. I’m using chatter in the loosest sense of the word. Obviously GP is the most fabulous daughter ever and clearly far cleverer than any other child, just like our son JP, but even she hasn’t mastered proper conversation quite yet. She chatters away clearly having a conversation – it’s just no one else is clever enough to understand. Anyway, back to this morning, GP’s dulcet tones came over the monitor and I stretched out feeling remarkably good, remarkably rested and even vaguely OK about being woken. What was going on, where was the usual weight that pins me to the bed making it impossible to get up without enormous effort? Where was the sting in my eyes which I know will only disappear with more sleep. I asked Dave what time it was and OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS 6 O’CLOCK!!! Never, never, never have I been so so pleased, grateful, humble to have been able to sleep until even 6am. I jumped out of bed with a lightness in my step. I suddenly understood what people mean when they say they are walking on clouds. I opened the door to the children’s bedroom and there stood up in her cot was a smiling, chirpy GP. I picked her up and went to cover JP with a bit more of his duvet. He asked me what I was doing as it’s normally Dave who goes and gets GP first thing. I whispered I was taking GP out of the room so she didn’t wake him up, where upon JP rolled over and went back to sleep – when does that ever happen? GP and I went off for breakfast together and so the day begun.
So why is waking at 6am such a miracle. Well, because before this morning, GP’s preferred waking time was 4.30. 4.30 takes it’s toil, it leaves me reliant on caffeine and concealer (wow those bags are impressive). And when the day starts that early my intake of sweet things increases. I need to find little treats like these starry chocolate shortbread in the drawer. But, of course, I don’t because I’m so tired I’m just desperate to get to bed. So I rely on shop bought sweet treats instead. Do these shop bought treats disappoint? Absolutely not, I’m in no way fussy when I’ve been up that long!
But if I were to find these starry chocolate shortbread in the cupboard on a 4.30a.m. day to enjoy alongside my caffeine, oh wow would it feel good. They are simple, buttery, crumbly shortbread. Easy to make – simply cream the butter and the sugar together, then add in the flour, ground almonds and a touch of salt. Roll them out using caster sugar in place of flour on the work surface and bake for about 12 minutes. Once cooked, leave to cool and harden a little before transferring to a rack to cool to room temperature. Melt the chocolate. Dip the shortbread and place on some baking or greaseproof paper. Finally, scatter over with sugar stars. Other options for the decoration could be hundreds and thousands, silver balls, or try dehydrated raspberries.
These shortbread would be great to make with kids. There are lots of different stages that JP would enjoy, like dipping in the chocolate. Sometimes though just quietly baking in the kitchen when the kids are asleep feel like such a treat. What is it about making pretty sweet things that can just hit the spot? It nourishes a part of me, gives me something to focus on and with a clearly achievable end goal.
For other options on the shortbread theme, have a look at my rosemary shortbread here and my cashew and hazelnut shortbread here.
STARRY CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD
When you come to dipping the shortbread, start with 100g dark chocolate. You’ll only use about 50g of this but if you start with just 50g you won’t have the depth of chocolate needed for a good dip. To melt, I blast the chocolate for one minute in the microwave and then additional 10 second blasts until the chocolate is glossy and completely melted. I use a small bowl or even a mug, so that the melted chocolate has sufficient depth. Alternatively, use a small saucepan with an inch of simmering water heating a glass bowl with the chocolate in it instead.
- 2oz/50g butter
- 2oz/50g caster sugar
- 1½oz/40g plain flour
- 1½oz/40g ground almonds
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 100g dark chocolate – only 50g has been included in the nutritional information, see notes above
- 5g coloured sugar stars or similar decoration
Greaseproof or baking paper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
- Soften the butter in a medium mixing bowl with the back of a wooden spoon or electric whisk.
- Beat in the caster sugar and then sift the flour in and add the ground almonds.
- Mix well.
- Dust a board with 1 tbsp caster sugar.
- Pick the dough up with your hands bringing it together into a lump. On the board roll it out to a thickness of 6mm/1/4″.
- Using a 48 mm / 1 7/8 ” cutter cut out discs of dough.
- Lay the discs on a baking sheet. They will expand during cooking so space them out.
- Put into the preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes until lightly browned just around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with caster sugar. Leave to cool a little and harden on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Continue cooling on a cooling rack. Lay out some greaseproof paper.
- Melt the chocolate in a small bowl or mug in the microwave. Start with 1 minute and then do 10 seconds blasts until the chocolate is glossy and completely melted. Dip each shortbread in the chocolate and then lay on the paper. Scatter a few stars over each biscuits. Once the chocolate is set they are ready to serve.
- They will last in an air tight container for three to four days.
Carbohydrate content of ingredients
Here is the carb info for each ingredient in case you want to substitute anything out or in.
INGREDIENTS WITH CARBS LISTS
· 2oz/50g butter – 0g carbohydrate
· 2oz/50g caster sugar – 50g carbohydrate
· 1½oz/40g plain flour – 31g carbohydrate
· 1½oz/40g ground almonds – 3g carbohydrate
· 1 tbsp caster sugar – 14g carbohydrate
· 100g dark chocolate – only 50g has been included in the nutritional information, see notes above – 23g carbohydrate
· 5g coloured sugar stars or similar decoration – 4g carbohydrate
These are great: delicate and delicious and very easy. The butter is best very very soft and I used an electric mixer to blend in the (white) sugar, mixing very thoroughly. Sifted the flour and cocoa together and beat in, again with the mixer. Mini chocolate chips would work better, I think, for slicing. I chilled the logs two hours. And they do take longer to bake than recommended. BTW, they taste even better after a few days… should they last that long!