Mindy Segal has the antidote to fussy holiday cookies: a make-ahead chocolate-dipped shortbread with a you-do-you vibe. “It’s not totally technical,” says Segal, who owns Mindy’s Bakery in Wicker Park. “You can modify the butter, the sugar.” Want to roll the edges in cinnamon sugar before baking? Or sub in milk chocolate for the dark? Or swap out the peppermint candies for chopped toffee? Go for it. Just one nonnegotiable, according to Segal: the generous dose of kosher and flaky sea salts, which cranks the tender cookies’ butteriness up to 11.
Mindy Segal’s Holiday Shortbread
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:3 hours 15 minutes
|13 Tbsp.||Unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|¾ cup||Confectioners’ sugar, sifted|
|1||Extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature|
|1 tsp.||Vanilla extract|
|1¾ cups||Unbleached all-purpose flour|
|½ tsp.||Kosher salt|
|½ tsp.||Sea salt flakes|
|8 oz.||Dark chocolate, chopped|
|4 oz.||White chocolate, chopped|
|10||Peppermint candies, crushed|
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, paddle butter at medium speed for 10 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix on low to incorporate, then raise speed to medium and beat until the mixture is aerated and looks like frosting, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
2. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix on low until mixture resembles cottage cheese, about 5 seconds. Beat at medium-high until mixture is almost uniform, 20 to 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl again.
3. Whisk flour and salts together in a medium bowl and add to butter mixture. Beat on low until dough comes together but still looks shaggy, about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and bring the dough together with a rubber spatula.
4. Scoop dough onto a sheet of parchment and roll it into a tight 12-inch log. Twist the parchment ends like a candy wrapper to seal. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice chilled dough into 24 half-inch rounds and arrange on two parchment-lined baking trays. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway, until cookies are pale gold and firm.
6. While cookies cool, place dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring in between, until fully melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with white chocolate. Dip half of each cookie into dark chocolate, shake off the excess, and set aside on a tray. Sprinkle crushed peppermint over chocolate and finish by drizzling white chocolate over the decorated area with a fork. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.