Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I love the combination of sweet and salty together when I’m baking in my kitchen!

This is the perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day as it not only combines sweet and salty together, but also dark chocolate! The end result is a slightly sweet and buttery cookie with morsels of dark chocolate and sea salt mixed together. My husband’s coworkers approved too!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! I’ve been swamped a bit lately because I’ve been taking Polish lessons every day. Today is my final exam! So I might need someone to make ME some cookies for Valentine’s Day!

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Shortbread Hearts with Red Sea Salt. 
Chocolate Shortbread Hearts with Sea Salt 
A classic shortbread is buttery and crunchy. I like to add chocolate and sea salt to mine, so you end up with a sweet-salty combination in these cookies. Traditional shortbread cookies were made from 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter and 3 parts flour by weight.

Shortbread gets its name from its crumbly texture (from an old meaning of the English word short), which is a result of the recipe’s high fat content provided by the butter.

Yields: 36 mini heart-shaped cut-out cookies

160      grams               480 typ Szymanowska Polish flour
55        g.                     granulated (Drobny) sugar
110      g.                     butter (not too cold, but not too soft either), cut into small pieces
Pinch                           salt
30        g.                     dark chocolate, chopped very small or shaved with a vegetable peeler
As needed:                  extra flour for rolling out the cookies

Garnish: Fleur de sel or rozowa z Himalajow sol (sea salt)

Tools needed:
Silpat pastry mat
Rolling pin
Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C.

Using a stand mixer or hand blender, place the flour, sugar, salt and butter into the mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment on low-medium speed, mix together the ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and will stick together if squeezed into a ball.

Then, add the chocolate into the mixture. Blend until combined. It will still look like a coarse meal (like when you make pie dough).

Dump the mixture onto a work surface such as a silpat pastry mat. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions. Using your hands, work the dough together as if you are kneading it, about 6 to 8 times. Press down on the mixture and push it away from you, and then bring the dough together again. Repeat this process until the dough sticks together.

Divide the dough in half.

Then, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a very lightly floured surface…Do NOT use too much flour as this will make the dough tough.

Cut out the dough with heart-shaped cookie cutters.

Place the hearts on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sea salt, pressing the granules slightly into the dough.

Bake the cookies about 8-10 minutes, or until very light brown on the edges.

Continue rolling, cutting and baking the cookies until all the dough is used up.
Someday you might find yourself with a collection of sea salts like me!
Back row: sea salt with algae from Brittany, France; Hawaiian red sea salt, rock salt from Krakow.Front row: Himalayan pink sea salt, French fleur de sel and larger granules of Himalayan pink sea salt.

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BacktoBodrum said...

I love your collection of salts. I discovered Bjare sea salt in Sweden this year mixed with a little seaweed. Didn't buy nearly enough to last me the year.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

these cookies look so good! i love the collection of salts. good luck on your test!

Joy said...

@Annie, thanks! Oh, that Swedish sea salt sounds yummy too! Great for garnishing things like salads, right? :-)

@Joyce, thanks! I passed with an 89%, so not bad. Now onto level 2!