Shortbread cookies require very few ingredients--just flour, butter, and sugar. No eggs, no baking soda, etc. The dough ends up being more firm than that of other cookies, and the cookies end up crispier than most other types of cookies--which makes them ideal for dipping into chocolate. I also decided to use ghee instead of regular butter in these cookies because it has a slightly nutty flavor that I thought would pair well with the chai spices.
Note: If you don't have a cookie cutter, you can always use a knife and cut the dough into squares or rectangles, or use the rim of wine or champagne glass to make circular shapes!
iNGREDIENTS (MAKES 20 - 24):
iNGREDIENTS (MAKES 40 - 48):
- Large bowl
- Whisk or fork
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutter, knife (to cut into squares), or wine/champagne glass (to cut circles)
- Baking sheet
- Microwave-safe glass container, such as a glass measuring cup
- Flour sifter (optional)
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Wire rack (optional)
- Wooden spoon or rubber spatula (optional)
- Put the ghee (or melted butter) and sugar into a bowl and use a whisk or fork to combine thoroughly.
- Add the salt, ground cardamom, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon to the mixture and combine. Add the vanilla extract and combine.
- If using a sifter, add the flour into the sifter 1/4th a cup at a time and sift into the bowl. If not using a sifter, just add the flour directly into the bowl.
- Using your hands, combine the flour and ghee/sugar mixture to create a dough. (Note: if you are using ghee, your mixture may feel crumbly and may not combine into a dough immediately. If this is the case, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until a dough forms. If making 20-24 cookies, this will be roughly 10 teaspoons; if making 40-48 cookies, this will be roughly 20 teaspoons).
- Once the dough forms, cover it and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Break the dough into several smaller balls (4 balls if making 20-24 cookies, 8 balls if making 40-48 cookies).
- On a clean, flat surface (a clean kitchen countertop would be fine), roll each ball of dough out until it is 1/8-inch thick. If the dough appears to crack at the edges as you are rolling it out, use your fingers and the edge of your rolling pin to repair the cracks.
- Using a cookie cutter (or knife or glass rim) to cut out the cookies from the dough. Place each cookie on a baking sheet (parchment paper-lined if possible). Roll up the scraps of cookie dough into one of the other dough balls and repeat the process of rolling the dough out and cutting the cookies. Repeat this process until there is no dough left.
- Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. Check the cookies at that point and bake for another 3-5 minutes if necessary, making sure they do not turn too brown.
- Once the cookies are done, remove them to a wire rack to help them cool faster.
- Once the cookies have cooled enough to handle them with your hands, place the chocolate chips in a glass container and heat for 10 seconds. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir the chips, and then place back in the microwave for another 10 seconds. Again stir the chips and repeat this process of microwaving-and-stirring until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Be careful not to over-microwave the chocolate chips or they will burn!
- Dip one end of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place back on the wire rack to cool. Once the chocolate has cooled somewhat, place the cookies on a plate and freeze for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.