maple and chocolate chip shortbread

Saying that Nate’s a “fan” of maple syrup is a bit of an understatement.  He is maple syrup’s fan. The ultimate fan.  He puts the stuff on almost anything, from pancakes and waffles to granola and yogurt.  And if it’s in a savory meal, well, all the better.

Lucky for Nate, and all other maple syrup enthusiasts, Bon Appetit’s October issue set aside an entire section for maple-based recipes. They all looked good (Apple Cider and Maple Cream Tart? Yum.  Maple-Apple Pie with Walnut Streusel? Yessir.),but I needed something quick for a weeknight treat.  So I settled on Maple and Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

We already had all of the ingredients for this recipe in our pantry.  Well, except for the maple sugar. Which I then tried to find, to no avail.  So, I had to settle with granulated sugar instead.  The texture and deliciousness of the end result certainly wasn’t compromised — the shortbread is buttery and actually moist (which is usually the downfall of shortbreads), and I LOVE the chocolate chip addition — but it certainly isn’t as maple-y as it could be.

So if maple syrup is your thing, then definitely make this shortbread with the right sugar.  If you don’t mind a lighter maple flavor, then go crazy with the granulated sugar.

Maple and Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Courtesy of Bon Appetit, October 2010

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp, plus additional for pan
7 tablespoons finely ground maple sugar (or granulated sugar), divided
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup (about) bittersweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Butter 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.  Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, 6 tablespoons maple (or granulated) sugar, and coarse salt in large bowl until light and fluffy and sugar is dissolved.  Add flour and beat just until blended.  Pat dough evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.  Press chocolate chips into dough in random pattern, spacing chips 1/2 inch apart (chips should show).  Brush dough with maple syrup and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon of maple (or granulated) sugar.

Bake shortbread until golden brown and firm to touch, about 55-60 minutes.  Transfer pan to rack and cool shortbread 10 minutes.  Gently push tart pan bottom up, releasing shortbread.  Cut warm shortbread into 16 wedges.  Cool shortbread wedges completely and serve.

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