Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Anthill shortbread

Amanteigados formigueiros / Anthill shortbread

My nephew loves anthill cake and because of that last December I bought a large bag of chocolate sprinkles – he was visiting me every week and we would bake the cake together. It was a lot of fun.

The pandemic came, so did the need of social distancing and the anthill cakes became a thing of the past. Sometimes I see the huge jar of sprinkles in my cupboard and I miss those Saturdays with my nephew so, so much. I wanted to find a way to use up the sprinkles in other recipes, and decided to add them to cookie dough.

These shortbread cookies are simple, yet delicious: crunchy when you bite them, then they melt in your mouth. I baked the first log of dough at the same day I made the recipe, then froze the other log for some other time. Last Sunday my husband wanted something tasty to go with his espresso and we were out of cake; I turned the oven on and baked the other dough log – freshly baked cookies for the super cold day we were having. 

Amanteigados formigueiros / Anthill shortbread

Anthill shortbread

slightly adapted from Annie Bell’s brown sugar shortbread


200g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

50g light brown sugar

50g granulated sugar

300g all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon table salt

6 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles

3 ½ tablespoons whole milk, cold


For sprinkling over the dough logs:

1 ½ tablespoons granulated or demerara sugar


Place butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs – at this stage there will still have large pieces of butter. Add flour, salt and chocolate sprinkles and mix again until mixture is sandy. With the mixer on low, add the milk, gradually, just until a dough starts to form – you might not need to use all the milk.

Divide dough in half and place each onto a large piece of baking paper. Shape dough like a cylinder, using a ruler to help, as Martha does here. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

Unwrap one of the dough logs (keep the other in the fridge) and brush it lightly with water. Sprinkle with half the sugar, spreading it evenly. Slice the cylinder into 1cm-thick rounds. Place onto the prepared baking sheets 5cm (2in) apart and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool in the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto the rack and cool completely. Repeat the process with the other log of dough and sugar.

Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Makes 40


Anonymous said...

Dear Patricia,

Wow, these cookies could have been designed just for me. I'm a fan of shortbread, chocolate and demarara sugar (for the flavor and the crunch). The texture is wonderful; the outside is crisp, but as you keep biting the middle is tender.

It's great that you're anthilling everything. I think we should use the word anthill as a verb as much as possible. ;)

I should have followed your advice and frozen the second log of dough. I'm in serious danger of listening to the cookies whispering to me that just a few more won't hurt.

Thank you so very much for sharing so much deliciousness. You are a treasure.



Patricia Scarpin said...

My dear friend, you are so kind! Your comments always make my day. <3 Thank you.

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