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Champagne-Glazed Chocolate Shortbread

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Ingredients

For the Chocolate Shortbread

    (makes around 35 two-inch cookies, but it will depend on the size of your cookie cutter — I used a graham cutter)

    • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup (3 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (see baker's notes)
    • 3/8 teaspoon baking soda (see baker's notes)
    • 1 cup (2 sticks // 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (5.65 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

    For the Champagne Marble Glaze

      (makes enough for 35 cookies, plus a little extra for practice and double dipping!)

      • 4 cups (16 ounces) confectioner's sugar
      • 1/4 cup (4 fluid ounces) light corn syrup
      • 3 tablespoons champagne
      • 3 tablespoons water
      • 1 teaspoon champagne extract (see baker's notes)
      • gray food coloring (see baker's notes)
      • edible gold leaf (see baker's notes)

      Instructions

      For the Chocolate Shortbread

      • In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, and 3/8 teaspoon baking soda. Set aside.
      • In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 1 cup unsalted butter on medium-low speed until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt and continue to mix for another 15 to 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and continue mixing for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
      • Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the dry ingredients (from the 1st step) in 2 additions, mixing on ow speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each addition or until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, and just mix until the dough has come together!
      • Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (like very lightly; this dough isn't very sticky and actually tends to be on the dry side). Use your hands to gently knead the dough together, and use a dough scraper to divide the dough into two even mounds. Take the first mound and, with a rolling pin, begin to flatten it by rolling it from left to right. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Turning the dough will help the dough from cracking as it's rolled. If it does crack, no biggie — take a pinch or two of dough from the second mound and use it to patch up any cracks or gaps. Roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thick sheet. If the dough gets too melty and soft, simply refrigerate it until it gets firm again. This dough tends to harden pretty quickly, so 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge should do the trick just fine!
      • Use your cookie cutter of choice to cut and stamp cookies from the rolled dough. Take any excess trimmings, knead them together, and re-roll. Arrange the cookies on sheet pans lined with parchment paper, leaving about a 1/2-inch between each cookie (don't worry — they won't spread out too much when baking). Transfer the cut cookies to the refrigerator and let chill for an hour before baking.
      • When the dough is chilled and you're ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 (F).
      • Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes, or until the cookies are fragrant with small cracks on the surface. Because the dough is so dark, it's a little hard to tell when these are done — look for small cracks on the surface! Set the pans on a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before glazing.

      For the Champagne Marble Glaze

      • When the cookies are cool, it's time to glaze them. In a double boiler (or, a homemade one with a heatproof bowl set on top of a saucepan with an inch or two of water — the bowl shouldn't touch the water!) over medium heat, combine 4 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, 3 tablespoons champagne, 3 tablespoons water, and 1 teaspoon champagne extract. Whisk to combine and continue stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. The icing should be fluid but not so warm that it will melt the frosting; the ideal final temperature of the mixture should be below 100 (F). Remove from heat and transfer the bowl to a wire rack to cool slightly.
      • Prepare a work station by lining two sheet pans with parchment paper for easy clean up. Place two wire racks on top of the parchment paper inside the sheet pans — this will help catch any glaze drippings and make sure you don't end up with any soggy cookies!
      • Return to your slightly cooled glaze and gently stir 1 to 2 drops of gray food coloring into the mixture. When I mean stir, I mean "half-heartedly stir" — the mixture should still be predominantly white at this point, but streaked with gray food coloring. This works best if the glaze has cooled — if the glaze is too hot, the food coloring will melt and incorporate throughout the mixture. You want it to be streaky!
      • Working quickly, dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and quickly flip it up so that the glazed side is upright. There are two ways to go about this —you can use the bottom of the cookie, which is smooth and flat. This creates a smoother finish. Or you can do what I did, which is dip the top of each cookie into the glaze. Any crags, cracks, or bumps in the cookie's surface will exaggerate the marble look. And for a streakier glaze, use a swooshing motion to pull the cookie surface along the glaze surface to achieve even more streaks. Let any excess drip off and transfer to a wire rack to dry for 3 to 4 hours. Repeat for remaining cookies and garnish with gold leaf if desired.