Chocolate Shortbread Bites



1 cup wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
cup unsweetened cocoa powder
teaspoon ground cinnamon
cup butter
cup semisweet chocolate pieces, melted (optional)*
1 teaspoon of shortening (optional) *

Preheat oven to 325.
In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. With hands, knead dough until it forms a smooth ball.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 1/4 inch thick (about 9x8-inch rectangle). If desired, use various-sized and shaped cookie cutters to cut out dough. Reroll as necessary. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are set and tops appear dry. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, dip edges in melted chocolate*. Makes about eighty 1 inch hearts.
*To melt chocolate: in a saucepan combine chocolate pieces and shortening. Stir over low heat until melted. Dip one corner of each cookie in melted chocolate; transfer to a waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet. Let stand until chocolate sets.

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