Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to something very, very special. It is chocolate shortbread, slathered in melty chocolate and topped with crunchy, toasted nuts. It's sophisticated enough for ladies who drink tea with their pinky pointing west, yet decadent enough that your 10-year-old won't say, "Ew, Ma. This tastes like topsoil; go make me some Jello." In other words, it's a crowd-pleaser. But don't take my word for it. Make it, eat it, and sing its praises your own self.
Make the Shortbread:
* 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/4 tsp table salt
*1 large egg yolk
*1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-blended. Scrape bowl, then add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating until just combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until the flour mixes in and the dough begins to clump together, about 1 minute.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, using fingertips to pat the dough onto the bottom (not up the sides) of the pan to create an even layer. Bake until the top no longer looks wet and the dough just barely begins to pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, about 25 minutes.
Make the Glaze:
* 3 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios
Begin making the glaze shortly before the shortbread is done. Melt chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir until smooth. When the shortbread is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack. Pour the warm glaze over the shortbread and spread evenly to the edges. Scatter nuts, and press gently into glaze. Let cool completely, then remove from tart pan and cut into 12 or 16 wedges.