Chocolatey Shortbread Bites
If not using processor:
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir cooled semisweet chocolate and vanilla into butter mixture until combined. With hands, knead dough until it forms a ball and is smooth.Advertisement
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 1/4-inch thick (18x8-inch rectangle). Use holiday- or circle-shape 2-inch cookie cutters to cut out dough. Reroll as necessary. (Or, cut rectangle into 2-inch squares.) Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Prick each shape 3 times with fork tines, making sure to go all the way through the dough. If you like, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until edges are set and tops appear dry. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. If you like, melt 4 ounces semisweet or white chocolate in a small saucepan with shortening. Dip some of the cookie edges in melted chocolate, or drizzle thin chocolate zigzag lines over top of cookies. Makes 36, (2-inch) cookies.
For food processor:
Place steel blade in food processor. Add flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt. Cover and process with on/off turns until combined. Add butter. Cover and process with on/off turns until most of mixture resembles cornmeal. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla. Cover and process with on/off turns until a dough starts to form. Remove from bowl. With hands, knead dough until it forms a smooth ball. (Do not overwork dough.)