Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011
The Balmoral is a beautiful hotel right beneath Edinburgh Castle. At bedtime they serve freshly baked shortbread that they claimed was the original family recipe perfected by Joseph Walker in 1898. Walker Shortbread is a Scottish manufacturer of shortbread, biscuits, cookies and crackers. The company is Scotland’s biggest exporter of food. I’m sure you’ve seen their famous plaid brand on your local grocer’s shelf.
Well, here’s the best part. I asked the chef if he would share the hotel’s recipe with me. To my surprise I found a copy of it slipped under the door in the morning. It called for a full cup of Scottish butter and the result was a cookie as smooth as silk. I couldn’t resist adding a little cocoa powder and chopped dried cherries to make it more from the ChocolateDoctor than Mr. Walker.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yield: 50 cookies
For the Cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-34 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
3 tablespoons sugar
For the Drizzle:
2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon white vegetable shortening
- Preheated oven to 300º F.
- Mix the butter, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts thoroughly using an electric mixer.
- Gradually blend in the flour and corn starch.
- Add the cherries and chocolate chips.
- Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Pour sugar on a small plate; dip bottom of drinking glass in sugar and gently press down on each cookie to flatten.
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes to chill.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.
- Cool 5 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Drizzle:
- Place the chocolate and shortening in a small re-sealable freezer bag.
- Microwave on HIGH for about 30 seconds until chocolate is melted.
- Massage chocolate and shortening together in the bag.
- Snip off corner and drizzle over the baked cookies.
ChefSecret: Although it isn’t a requirement for this recipe, I suggest using Plugrá. European-style butters are made by utilizing a slow-churned process that creates less moisture content and a creamier texture when compared to ordinary table butters. This make for higher, fluffier cakes and unbelievably flakier, lighter cookies.