Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies were my go-to treat as a kid, but now I prefer to make them myself. The grown up version of my childhood favorite is a rich, buttery shortbread cookie (adapted ever so slightly from The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook) that gets dipped in semisweet chocolate. I like to use dark chocolate every chance I get, but I think semisweet chocolate is the way to go here, as that extra bit of sweetness makes these homemade cookies taste a bit more like the store-bought version.
And if you’re a perfectionist, here’s a useful tip: Don’t worry if your stripes aren’t perfectly straight and spaced apart! That’s something only Keebler elves have the magic to do. Pipe them on, let the chocolate set, then sit back and enjoy one, two, or five cookies in a row. —Nina Caldas
(about 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(about 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
(1 3/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons) all purpose flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed to get it smooth. Add the sugar and salt, and cream together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour in two additions, mixing until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325° F and position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line sheet pans with Silicone liners or parchment paper.
When the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and let it sit on your counter for about 10 minutes, just so that it becomes a little easier to work with. Place the dough between two pieces of wax paper and begin to pound out and roll the dough (the paper will help prevent the dough from cracking too much). Continue to roll out the dough until it’s 1/4-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can, gathering and re-rerolling the scraps to make more cookies. Transfer the rounds to the prepared sheet pans. Using the larger end of a pastry tip, cut out a circle from the center of the cookie rounds (I like to do this when the cookies are already on the sheet pans to ensure that they stay perfectly round). Prick the cookies all over with the tines of a fork.
Bake the cookies for 17 to 19 minutes, until they’re a pale golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pans for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate to coat, scrape the excess off on the side of the bowl, and place on a parchment-paper lined sheet pan, chocolate side up. Repeat with each cookie, and then place them in the fridge to firm up the chocolate (about 5 to 10 minutes).
Store the cookies in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days (but keep them in the fridge if you used untempered chocolate).