Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spiced Almond Shortbread

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What's your favorite kind of cookie?

I'll tell you what mine isn't. My favorite cookie isn't chock-full of interesting ingredients. My favorite cookie does not have oozing chocolate chunks. My favorite cookie isn't chewy. My favorite cookie doesn't have the irresistible aroma of peanut butter or the the wholesome goodness of oatmeal.

No. I love all those cookies, but none of them is my favorite.

My favorite cookie is firm, but also soft. Has a bite to it, but also melts in your mouth. Is sweet, but also distinctly salty.


My favorite cookie, is a shortbread. I love the simplicity of it. It uses the most basic ingredients. Butter, sugar, flour and vanilla. Everything about shortbread is irresistible to me! The aroma, the texture, the flavor, all of it. I love plain shortbread or shortbread with lemon zest or orange zest, or bits of dried fruit. But today, I was in the mood for some spice.

I used a Donna Hay recipe today. It was scary. It used a LOT of butter. I know shortbread uses a lot of butter, but the proportion of butter in this recipe was more than any other I had made before. The final result was excellent though. I ate only two pieces. I think because I made the cookies, I knew exactly how much butter was in them. So, I couldn't convince myself to pick up another one. Fortunately for me, there were many takers for these cookies - some friends, some family and my husband were glad to get rid of them for me.


Spiced Almond Shortbread
Ingredients
100g cold unsalted butter, chopped
150g cold salted butter, chopped
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon pwd
1/4 - 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
100g blanched, toasted almonds, chopped

Method
1. In the jar of the food processor, or in a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the almonds.
2. Mix just until it forms a dough.
3. Add in the almonds and mix for a few seconds till incorporated.
4. Wrap the dough in cling film & refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 350.
6. Press the dough into a fluted pie tin. Using a fork, prick the surface of the dough to keep the shortbread from rising. Score the dough where you intend to cut them into individual cookies.
7. If desired, for the traditional shortbread look, cut out a circle in the center of the dough using a plain, round cookie cutter.
8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 2-3 minutes.
9. Cut into triangles using your score marks as a guideline.
10. When completely cool, dust with more powdered sugar, if desired.


I didn't have blanched almonds, and so for the first time ever, I blanched the almonds myself. I was surprised at how easy it was. I just brought some water to a boil in a saucepan, added the almonds to the boiling water, left them there for 30 seconds and then drained them. I dropped them into a bowl filled with iced water, left them there for about 3 minutes and drained them again. All I had to do then, was just give each almond a little squeeze and they just popped out of their skins! (If you haven't tried this before, I must warn you that these almonds are really slippery. I lost a couple, and I still don't know where they landed!) Chop the almonds to the size you want, and roast them in single layer in your oven. Next time I would chop the almonds smaller for this recipe, but only because it would make it easier to slice the cookies.

These cookies were a huge hit in our home. My husband, who isn't a big cookie fan, but would gladly devour a huge chunk of chocolate cake, ate quite a few of these. He actually sat down with the box of cookies on his lap and ate the last few. My little girl loved them too, especially because they were extra-crumbly, and so made an extra-big mess for mommy to clean up!

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39 comments:

Angie said...

Those shortbread would be a hit in our home too, esp. with nuts!

Maris Callahan said...

I also love the buttery goodness of shortbread cookies! These look like a winner!

Galexi Cupcakes said...

We can't have nuts in our home but everything else in this recipe screams DELICIOUS!!!

sharizat shakmanova said...

i'm not a big cookie fan but i love shortbread! yours sounds, well, spicy! it's alway a great idea to use cinnamon with sweets…
i have never blanched almonds either, i have to try! don't worry about the lost nuts, a little mouse will find them :)

Galexi Cupcakes said...

We can't have nuts in our home but everything else in this recipe screams DELICIOUS!!! 

theharriedcook said...

I'm sure they would :) Thanks for stopping by, Angie! 

theharriedcook said...

LOL :D You're so funny! I sure hope you're wrong & there are no mice in my house!!! Yes, I loved the spice in this shortbread :) I am a cookie fan, unlike you... and shortbread's my favorite! Thanks for stopping by, Sharizat!

theharriedcook said...

No nuts? That's too bad! But, as you said, this shortbread would work great even without the almonds :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Maris!

Baking Serendipity said...

I haven't had shortbread in so long...yours looks delicious and your descriptions are making my mouth water! Adding this one to the must make list :) Wishing you a fantastic summer weekend!

Kate@Diethood.com said...

Aren't those gorgeous!! WOW...love that you added some almonds... yummo!

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment over at Dennis' blog!  The best thing about guest posting is discovering many amazing blogs you haven't seen before, like yours.  That spiced almond biscotti looks fantastic, and the Moo-less (clever name!) looks phenomenal!  I'm afraid to look further..trying to curb my sweet input lol

Beth Hyzy said...

Wow!  Sweet, salty, nutty, cinnamony - these look perfect :)

Three-Cookies said...

I love shortbread. Never tried almond shortbread, let alone spiced version. Almond has a nice mellow flavour, I guess it goes really well with regular shortbread

Erin @ Making Memories said...

 I'm right there with ya'!  I LOOOOOVE shortbread cookies.  (Although I dip mine in chocolate)  =o)  These look amazing!

Peggy Labor said...

I like your style!  I'm a simple shortbread cookie kind of gal too =)

Nami said...

Well, after looking at this shortbread, it reminded me how much I love shortbread than cookies.  I love cookies too (believe me, I really can't choose...I love sweets!), but if I have a cup of tea, and all kinds of cookies and buttery shortbread, I know that I would prefer shortbread.  I really like the simple butter taste.  Looking at your pictures I really want to get a piece with my milk tea that I have right now...  Very nice recipe Marsha!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you :) I hope you have a fabulous weekend too! Thanks for stopping by...

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Kate! :) The almonds definitely worked with the spices :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for taking the time to come visit, Lisa. I look forward to visiting your blog too! :) Thanks for your sweet comments about my posts... I hope you'll visit again :) Thanks again!

theharriedcook said...

:) Add 'nutmeggy' and that would be the perfect description! :) Thank you, Beth! 

theharriedcook said...

The almond really did work well in the shortbread, especially with the spices. I love the flavor of nutmeg & so this was a winner for me! Thanks for stopping by :) I look forward to visiting your blog!

theharriedcook said...

:) We're a rare breed, you know... the chocolate chip fans are taking over! Thanks for stopping by, Peggy!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Nami! I think I will keep experimenting with the recipe though. It has so much butter that I feel guilty eating it! :) But yes, I would always pick a shortbread over any other kind of cookie, even though I love cookies in general! Thanks for your thoughtful comment and for stopping by! :)

theharriedcook said...

Oh yes! I think next time I will skip the spices and dip them in chocolate! Yummy... Thanks, Erin! 

A little bit of everything said...

I love shortbread but haven't had any in ages. Yours just made me crave some. I'd have been so happy to get rif of them for you. Next time you make, count on me :)

Thanks for sharing Marsha,
Happy weekend 

Cajundelights said...

These look fab and I can't wait to try them! I have some awards for you on my blog!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for your sweet comment, Roxana! I wish I could send you some cookies from India :) I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! Thanks for stopping by :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Marguerite! That's so sweet of you :) Thanks for stopping by!

Sandra's Easy Cooking said...

mmmm...I can almost hear the crunch!!! Yummy cookies, I love all of them to answer your question:))) especially if I have craving for something sweet!:)))

Aarthi said...

This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html

Aarthi said...

This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html

theharriedcook said...

:) I am totally a cookie person too. I'm not big on cakes though. I make them, but don't eat them. Of all the cookies, shortbreads are my favorite! Thanks for stopping by & for answering my question :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for stopping by, Aarthi!

Manu said...

Ohhh did I hear nutmeg???  And cinnamon???  My 2 favorite spices in the same cookie????  How great is that?  And it has almonds too... mouthwatering recipe!!!  Oh, how I love your blog!!!

theharriedcook said...

Oh Manu, you are sweet to say that! :) Thank you! I am a huge fan of cinnamon and an even bigger fan of nutmeg. So this was the perfect cookie for me :) The almonds were more for my husband. He loves them! It really worked :) Thanks for stopping by!

Aarthi V said...

This looks
yummy....you have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you
check and join that


http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html


 

theharriedcook said...

Thanks again!

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner said...

Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

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