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Two Sisters, Serial #32 and Brown Sugar Nut Shortbread

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So we’ve been having a little fun the last few weeks, trying out some rich and flashy desserts. Weren’t those Molten Lava Cakes something? The Nutella-stuffed Muffins? The Mint Brownie Bites? Ahh, the memories send chills up and down my spine (or maybe that’s a cold draft coming in around the door).

But now it’s time to come back down to earth. Can’t stay in the stratosphere all the time.

And coming down to earth at R&R means shortbread cookies, that tried and true basic cookie from way back. But we’re going to soften our return to earth just a tad by jazzing up the basic shortbread recipe. Instead of white sugar we’re using brown sugar, and we’re going to add finely ground nuts to the flour mixture, in effect mixing nut flour with the wheat flour. The result is our Brown Sugar Nut Shortbread, a new twist on an old theme.

And if you’re still enamored of the chocolate from last week’s Molten Cakes (and let’s face it, who isn’t still enamored of that luscious treat–too bad our Valentine’s date didn’t have the same staying power!), then you can further jazz up these cookies by doing what we did and dipping them in a little melted chocolate (are you beginning to detect a theme–or is it an addiction–in our recent recipes? got to get through this awful winter somehow!) and adding some chopped nuts on top.

And suddenly our back to earth cookie isn’t quite so back to earth. Well, like I said, we’re looking to ease your transition back to reality. Now if this winter would just ease off a little bit, we’ll be all set.

And if it doesn’t, just draw the blinds and click on one of the story links below. That will carry you away to a different place and time–no snow or ice out there on Shawnituck Island with Brooke and Leah.

shortbread cookiesBrown Sugar Nut Shortbread

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup nut pieces*

pinch of salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

brown sugar nut shortbread

To a food processor, add the flour, nuts, and salt. Pulse ingredients until they become a fine powder. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until very smooth and creamy. Stir in the flour mixture until all ingredients are well incorporated. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.

Once the dough has been refrigerated, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper and set aside. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using a small cookie cutter (about 1 inch wide), cut dough into shapes. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until they just start to turn golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, drizzle cookies with melted chocolate and garnish with chopped nuts.

Makes about 10 cookies.

*Pecans are the traditional nut used in shortbread cookies; however, any nut can be used. I used walnuts in this recipe, but you can also use almonds, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts. shortbread

{Adapted from The Silver Palate}

Click below to listen to or read Serial #32 of “Two Sisters”.

Two Sisters, Serial #32, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Two Sisters, Serial #32, text © Jeffrey Anderson


About Elaine

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