February 27, 2017

Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Looking for a twist on shortbread?  Today, I bring you chocolate cherry shortbread.  I'm always partial to a cookie involving chocolate!

These addictive shortbread cookies are studded with chewy bits of dried cherries.  These chocolatey and buttery cookies have another secret ingredient: crushed pink peppercorns!  The pink peppercorns have a spicy floral note which goes well with the tartness of the cherries and sweetness of the chocolate.

Pink peppercorns are part of the cashew family, but they are called peppercorns since they have a peppery taste.  They're actually dried berries from the Peruvian pepper tree.

This is an easy batter to make, and it tastes better if you refrigerate it overnight (the flavors marinate and ripen).  You could also freeze it and have it on hand for any occasion that comes up!

Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
Yields 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. crushed pink peppercorns
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp.) butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, pepper corns, and salt, and set aside.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the butter and granulated sugar and cream until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Then, add the egg yolks and mix until combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined.  Finally, add the chopped cherries and chocolate chips, and stir until evenly dispersed.

Place a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper on a clean counter.  Transfer the cookie dough to the wrap and form it into a 2-inch-wide log and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight (preferably).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF.  Place silpat or parchment paper onto a king sheet.  Remove dough from fridge, and using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1/3-inch-thick rounds.  Set the cookies onto the baking sheet, spaced an inch apart, and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

Bake until set, for about 25 minutes.  Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis


  1. The peppercorns are such a great idea! I'm not a big fan of the chocolate-cherry combo, but I'm sure that I am in the minority! Happy baking!

  2. I think chocolate and cherries go well together- come to think of it, adding a bit of chili to the combo would certainly add some pizazz (maybe that's where the pink peppercorns come in)! Have fun on your trip to France!


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