21 September, 2015
Chopped nuts added to basic shortbread to create this tasty treat. It looks very sophisticated but is actually very easy to make and one of my favourite recipes to take for parties and gatherings.
Any combination of nuts can be used, almonds, pistachio, macadamia, pecan would be some of the popular combinations. But I’m using almonds and cashew for this one, because I had a lot of cashews with me. I’m tempted to try this with peanuts, walnuts.
Nuts have to be chopped really finely as we are going to cut this in to squats. Big chunks of nuts would make it difficult to cut, resulting in a mess. Once the dough is mixed, it might look a bit crumbly and bit difficult to bring together. But after pressing a few times on a bench, it binds nicely. Then it is easier to roll this out to desired thickness. Refrigerating for a few minutes make is easier to cut squares.
Make sure not to roll out too thin as it might break. Not too thick as it might not bake through during the time and if baked for longer, you might run the risk of burning the tops. Leave space around the squares for an even bake.
Once the top begins to show colour, usually, it’s baked enough. You can taste test to see it it’s baked or if it still tastes raw in the centre. Once baked, let cool and refrigerate to cool completely. This will make it easier and faster to apply and set the chocolate coating.
You can use white chocolate to dipping if you like or use, dark, milk and white all three to create a pretty collection. That would be ideal for a gift.
These shortbread squares last for weeks if kept airtight and in a cool dry place.
- 85g caster sugar
- 50g butter
- 1 small egg
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 125g soft flour
- 50g Almonds, chopped
- 50g Cashew, chopped
- 200g dark/milk chocolate
- Prepare a tray lined with baking paper.
- Mix butter and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand held mixer) and cream lightly using paddle attachment.
- Add the egg and mix until well combined. Add vanilla essence.
- Mix in the soft flour and continue to mix on low speed until well incorporated.
- Fold in the nuts by hand using a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Take the dough on to a tray and spread in to a 1cm thick layer and refrigerate until hard enough to cut. (30-40 minutes approx.)
- Meanwhile heat the oven to 170 °C.
- Take the dough out and cut in to 3cm squares. Spread on the prepared baking tray. Egg wash lightly and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the tops turn light golden brown.
- Let cool on tray and then refrigerate for around 15 minutes. (This makes easier to apply the chocolate decoration )
- If you don’t want the chocolate coating, you can let the squares cool completely and store in an air tight container.
- While short breads are cooling down, you can prepare the chocolate dipping by melting the chocolate. Use a microwave or a double boiler. Once chocolates are melted, keep the bowl in hot water bath to prevent hardening.
- Once the shortbread are cool, take them out and dip each piece half in the chocolate and set aside to dry.
- Once the chocolate is set, they can be stored in an air tight container.
- Make sure not to over bake. Use white chocolate instead of milk/dark if you like.