Maple Chocolate Chip Shortbread

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When this month’s Bon Appetit showed up in my mailbox, I knew I was in heaven. There are a ton of maple recipes in this issue–maple cake, maple apple pie (going to try that one for Thanksgiving), and maple shortbread. Most of these recipes call for maple sugar, and having never heard of such a thing, I did some research which prepared me for the crazy price of a tiny bag of the sugar. I need to tell my coworkers they are eating gold or something, and they better like it because I doubled the recipe!

Maple Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Not only is the shortbread made with the maple sugar, there is maple syrup brushed on the top, and more maple sugar sprinkled on top of that, giving it a nice crunch. The cookies themselves are chewy and buttery, and not cloyingly sweet like you might expect. They’re a nice change from traditional shortbread, and I have a feeling it’s only a matter of time before someone subs out the chocolate chips with bacon.

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

Bon Appetit note: If maple sugar is coarse, grind it in a food processor until it resembles granulated sugar.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. (I used a regular cake pan.) Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, 6 tablespoons maple 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 maple sugar.

Bake shortbread until golden brown and firm to touch, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool shortbread 10 minutes. Gently push tart pan bottom up, releasing shortbread. (Or double-flip out of the cake pan onto a cutting board like I did.) Cut warm shortbread into 16 wedges. Cool shortbread wedges completely and serve.

Recipe from Bon Appetit.