These are a play on a shortbread recipe that I’ve changed up to suit my tastes over the last year or so. I love making shortbread, I find it very satisfying. You start off with this dough that looks like it’s going to turn into nothing, but with enough care & attention, you get this beautiful ball of deliciousness that you can mold to your hearts desire.
I added some pistachio nuts (green) and some green sprinkle sugar to give my cookies a new & festive twist.
(made 18 cookies for me, yours may vary depending on your chosen shape)
- 50 grams Caster sugar (or powdered sugar)
- 200 grams All-purpose Flour
- 50 g, Toasted Almond Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt (omit if using salted butter)
- dash of Nutmeg
- 150 grams Unsalted Butter (best quality you can buy). Chilled and cut into small pieces.
- 1/4 Cup, Pistachios, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Almond Extract (Optional)
- Sparkling sugar for decorating and cream or milk to brush on top
These will be baked in a pre-heated 325° F/160° C oven. Don’t preheat until later as you don’t want to waste electricity while your cookies are chilling in the fridge.
In a large bowl, whisk together both of the flours, sugar, salt and nutmeg. I generally count to 60. Make sure your almond flour is broken up throughout. I keep my almond flour in the freezer so, it needed the whisking.
Add the butter and using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour. It will resemble peas when it is done. This is like making scones or American biscuits.
The thing about this recipe and shortbread in general is that the taste really comes from the butter. You want to use the best butter you possibly can for the best flavor. For this recipe, I used Kerrygold Irish butter. I love the rich color and flavor of this butter.
Once the butter is well incorporated. Add the almond flavor (if using) and sprinkle the pistachios over the dough.
Start to kneed the dough with your hands. It looks like it won’t work, but it will. The butter starts to bind until you have a nice dough and a clean bowl. This is why I love making shortbread. It’s just so awesome to me! Like magic 😀
Wrap your ball of dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes. I usually chill it for 30 minutes.
After you’ve chilled your dough, you have your options on shape. You can make a long rectangle and cut sticks. You could use a cookie cutter. That’s another great thing about shortbread style cookies… you can shape and mold them to however you want. It’s very versatile.
I was attempting to make little squares, but I’m not so great at cutting my dough. After some man-handling, I ended up rolling out balls, weighing them on my scale so they all were 27 grams each, and pushing them out into discs. Sort of like coins in the pot of gold? Yah, I’m stretching it, but I’m trying to remain festive!
Prepare your pan with spray or parchment paper. I’m out of parchment paper and my pan is pretty good, so I used a coconut oil spray. Spread your cookies out so they aren’t touching. If the butter is cold, they shouldn’t spread.
Because I man-handled these cookies, I put them in the freezer for 15 minutes as I pre-heated the oven. You want to have the butter inside nice and cold because it is what’s doing all the work for the cookies. There’s no baking soda or baking powder to help. The butter is doing all the heavy lifting here.
Once I took them out of the freezer, I brushed the tops with some half & half (you could use milk, cream or almond milk… whatever you have open). Working 3 or 4 at a time, sprinkle your decorative sugar of choice on after brushing the tops.
Bake at 325 for about 18 minutes. I started with 14 and added time. You want to see the sides close to the bottom start to turn golden brown.
Allow the cookies to cool thoroughly in the pan. They are really delicate when hot. I tried too soon and one of them was stuck on the spilled milk and it broke and I had to eat it! Poor me!
These go very nicely with a cup of tea. I am having a cup made from tea I buy from a woman who owns an Etsy Shop, “Sunshine Cottage”, as I write this. I normally love her Lady Londonderry, but today, decided to have Danny Boy Tea. Seemed only fitting.
Danny Boy was my mom’s favorite song. My Irish-American parents both loved Irish Music and my dad would make us listen to it every Saturday on a local radio station. While I’d long to hear Finnegan’s Wake, my mom waited to hear “Danny Boy”. But, she’d also cry every single time, so I never quite understood why she wanted to hear it so badly. I miss my parents every day, but most especially on St. Patrick’s day.
Now, I also cry whenever I hear Danny Boy.
This blog is dedicated to them.