Shortbread is a traditional teatime cookie, native to Scotland, but loved by everyone. You know when you have a fine one because they snap crisply, the butter flavor is intense, and they melt in your mouth. There’s no need for any extra ingredients, the bare minimum is what these cookies are all about, letting you experience that wonderful butter flavor.
Ordinarily I don’t add anything to a shortbread cookie, but this recipe calls for finely diced toasted almonds, and toffee bits that have been crushed sightly. The toffee is not readily apparent when the cookie is baked, but it does intensify the butter flavor, and the almonds just add a little texture to an otherwise smooth dough. To finish them off I sprinkled the tops with multicolored pink-green sanding sugar.
By using a cookie cutter that is no more than 2-inches, you will get about 30 cookies. My square cutter is 1 1/2-inches and I got 37 cookies. They are small bites, just right for a light finish to a meal, to put on a dessert table, or to go with a cup of tea or coffee.
TOFFEE ALMOND SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Yield: about 30 cookies
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup, (1 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted almonds
- 2 tablespoons toffee pieces, slightly crushed I used Heath Toffee Bits.
- pink and green coarse decorating sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325*F. Baking sheets may be lined with parchment paper, or use un-greased.
2. Combine flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine crumbs, and starts to cling together.
3. Stir in the almonds and toffee bits.
4. Bring the mixture together into a ball ( with your hands is best), and gently knead until smooth.
5. Turn out onto a floured surface, roll out to about 1/4-inch thick. Using your cookie cutter, stamp out as many as are possible. Gather the trimmings, roll out again, and press out more cookies. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
6. Put the shortbread on the prepared baking sheets, sprinkle with decorating sugar, and bake for 10 – 12 minutes until bottoms are starting to brown and the edges are firm. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
SOURCE: Better Homes and Gardens
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