December 2: Chocolate Almond Shortbread

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This is also a new recipe. A couple weeks ago, there was a “Holiday Idea Book” in my local paper, and since I didn’t need to line any bird cages or start some campfires, I decided to look through it.

(I used to work for the paper. I don’t have much remorse for saying such things.)

There were actually a couple interesting recipes in it, although it’s obvious it was just compilation of other recipe books. (One could argue all recipes and cookbooks are compilations of others before them.)

This recipe originally had hazelnuts. I hate hazelnuts. But I also live in Wisconsin, where my hazelnut tree (bush? vine?) just didn’t perform up to expectations. So I used almonds, of which my local grocer has an abundant supply. So, I had to change the name.

The recipe calls for 1/2c. skinned toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped. So I took my sliced almonds and a piece of Pampered Chef stoneware and toasted them myself. (Really, it’s so easy. You can even do it in the microwave, which I used to do when I was a Pampered Chef consultant. This time, I used the broiler, which you’re probably not supposed to do with stoneware, but it worked and nothing broke. Just make sure you stir it up every few minutes or so.)

I used a coffee grinder to grind the almonds. The first batch was pretty fine, the second was okay, but by the third, I figured I should balance things out and I did a rough chop.

Chocolate Almond Shortbread
(Holiday Idea Book, 11/18/12…stolen from Bake or Break, courtesy of Go Bold With Butter)

(Note: Now, I TOTALLY want to go bold with butter.)

Ingredients:

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1/2 c. toasted almonds, finely chopped
2/3 c. semisweet chocolate

Directions:

1. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour and salt, and mix just until combined. Stir in almonds.
2. Form dough into disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
3. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
4. Roll out dough into a disc about 1/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut out cookies into 1×2-inch bars. Carefully transfer cut out cookies onto prepared pans.
5. Bake, one pan at a time, for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pans for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
6. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave at half power in 30-second increments until chocolate melts when stirred. Dip cookies partially into chocolate or drizzle chocolate over cookies. Allow chocolate to set completely, refrigerating cookies if necessary.

My Notes

This also made a very crumbly dough, so I added a little water and melted butter to get it to the right consistency. Also, I used WAY more chocolate to dip than 2/3 cup. Oh, and then I put some pretty sprinkles on it.

 
Stats:
Today’s cookie count: 55
Total for the month: 120