2015 Holiday Recipe Exchange: Chocolate Chip Shortbread by Kate Willoughby + excerpt

TBRG Recipe Exchange copy
I’m so excited to be here at the Book Reading Gals blog on the day my newest book is coming out. The book is called Under the Spotlight and it’s a hockey romance. Here’s a little snippet from the Christmas scene…



“That is the best thing I ever tasted,” Joe said. “What’s in it?”

“Secret family recipe,” Christine’s dad said gruffly. “Handed down for generations.”

“Don’t lie, Dad. It’s not a secret, Joe.”

“Don’t contradict me, daughter. I meant that the recipe is for family. Not outsiders.” 

Joe glanced at Christine with amusement at the not so subtle gibe. Her mother had come into the kitchen just in time to hear that last part and she batted her husband on the arm and chastised him in Hungarian. “Stop harassing him. It’s Christmas.”

“It is my house and that was not harassment. If the boy can’t take what I dish out, he doesn’t deserve our daughter.”

Her mother glanced at Joe. “I’m quite sure that boy can handle anything you give him.”

Her dad harrumphed and Christine pressed her lips together to hold back her giggle.

Her mother stepped close to her husband. “Now, please honor the holiday by being charitable. I like this boy and I’ll be damned if I’ll let you scare him away because of a recipe your sister already shared with her entire PTA.”

Joe raised a questioning eyebrow at Christine and she shook her head slightly.

“Did you make dobosh, Dad? Do you know what that is, Joe?”

“Not a clue.”

“It’s this amazing dessert made of these really thin layers of sponge cake and chocolate filling, topped with caramel. It’s going to be hard, but you have to save room for that. It takes a long time to make.”

“The dobosh is in the dining room.”

She hooked Joe’s arm with her own and led him out of the kitchen.

Joe tilted his head toward Christine and asked in a low voice, “Why is your dad the only one in the kitchen? This might sound sexist, but usually there are a ton of women in there all bustling around…”

She shook her head. “It’s not sexist. It’s true, but my dad is like a lone wolf in the kitchen. When people try to help, he ends up getting mad because whatever we try to do, we do it wrong. If you Google micromanaging, he has his own Wikipedia page. We’ve all learned it’s easier to just let him do everything.” She leaned closer. “That way he gets all the credit too, when everyone loves the meal. So here’s the dobosh. I promise you it’s as delicious as it looks.”

Joe leaned close and whispered, “So are you.”


Now, unfortunately, I don’t know how to make dobosh. I watched a detailed 15 minute video, but it was all in Hungarian and I couldn’t understand a word. So, I decided to share this yummy cookie recipe instead.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread


½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add flour and salt. Stir in the chips.

Divide dough in half. Press each half into an ungreased 8-inch round cake pan. Bake 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Score shortbread with sharp knife into wedges careful not to cut completely through the shortbread.  Make 8 wedges per pan.

Let pans sit on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert shortbread onto wire racks; cool completely. Break into wedges.

Makes 16 servings






An Uncensored Man Banter™ enthusiast, Kate Willoughby happily, maybe even obsessively, writes her hockey romances in Southern California. When she’s not at Starbucks where she works as a barista, she is at her desk working on the next In the Zone novel. (Even the family dog knows to look for her there first.)

Kate is also a rabid LA Kings fan. Her collection of memorabilia is getting to the point where she’s going to have to dedicate valuable bookshelf real estate to it. The current piece de resistance is a signed photograph of Dustin Brown with the Stanley Cup raised over his head. Yes, he’s shirtless. Yes, she gazes at it a lot.



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