Maybe I should be more afraid of butter. Sure, it’s on the enemy list of cardiologists or dietitians around, but my philosophy is that if you’re going to eat a cookie, it might as well be the real thing. As the weather gets warmer, and I start to unpack our summer clothes, I know butter will likely (okay hopefully) take more of a backseat on our menu. But, really, if you’re gonna indulge- choose a little butter. It’s the same thing with cheese. Fat-free cheese is just wrong. Now to just find the right balance.
I made these macadamia nut shortbread as a party favor for my friend, Chelsea’s, bridal shower two weeks ago. Shortbread is a type of cookie made without leavening agents (baking soda, baking powder, eggs) and with lots of butter. I baked them a week in advance, froze them, and then packaged them two days before the shower. They stayed perfectly fresh and I received a lot of great reviews. If you’re looking for a crispy, buttery, and special cookie, these shortbread are a perfect choice. They are a great blend of salty and sweet and are scrumptious with a cup of coffee.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Macadamia Nut Shortbread
Yield: About 20 cookies
- 1 1/2 cups salted dry-roasted macadamia nuts
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
2. Place macadamia nuts in a 4-sided sheet pan and toast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven, but keep the oven on. Allow the nuts to cool slightly and then coarsely chop.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt until combined well. Stir in flour, nuts, and chocolate and gently stir with a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Gently pat the dough into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle. Score into 20 squares with tip of a knife. Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes, then carefully cut into squares with a sharp knife while the shortbread is still warm (cookies may crumble a little bit). Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.