Cocoa Shortbread Hearts

I needed a simple, quick cookie recipe to make as a gift for my boyfriend's family this Christmas. These took me less than two hours from start to finish, and with a rather basic ingredient list. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies. This book is great; there's over 500 recipes of every kind of cookie and biscuit you can imagine.
These chocolatey roll outs are rich and  crumbly, with butter acting as the only wet ingredient (magic!). They are meant to be drizzled with white chocolate, but I was short on ingredients so I just melted regular semi-sweet chocolate chips.

-1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 oz chocolate, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
2) Mix the flour, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3) Add the butter and vanilla and mix thoroughly until the mixture begins to come together.
* The directions recommend using a food processor, but if you don't have a one know that it can be done without! I did this by hand, using my awesome shiny pastry cutter (another gift). I worked the very dry mixture for 5-10 minutes. A fork or two knives could also work just as well.
4) Shape the dough into a ball.
5) Roll out the dough onto a floured surface, about 1/4 inch thick.
6) Use any kind of cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. I used a little heart-shaped one.
7) Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, bake 20-25 minutes, until firm to touch.
8) When the cookies are finished, let them cool on wire racks. Place parchment paper beneath the racks. Allow to cool completely!
9) Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
10) Place the melted chocolate in a pastry or ziplock bag, cut a small hole in the corner and drizzle the chocolate back and forth over the cookies.
11) Put the drizzled cookies in a cold place to solidify the chocolate, for about 20-30 minutes. (I stuck mine in the chilly garage). Or just eat them right then and there.
Voila! Fast and delicious cookies, perfect to fit in tins. And they don't have to be too pretty, they'll look great and thoughtful no matter what.


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