Walnut-Pecan Shortbread

Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
Yield: About 5 dozen 2-inch cookies
Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes (20 minutes of work)

Once I started adding ground nuts to shortbread dough, I was instantly hooked, and haven't made it plain since. The nuts get thoroughly coated with butter and toasted to perfection during the baking, and the cookies get infused with a flavor that is out-of-this-world. Try this recipe; they'll be begging you for more.
  • Grind the nuts in a food processor or blender with a series of short pulses, so they turn into a fine powder, rather than nut butter.
  • This recipe also makes a great pie or tart crust (click here). It's enough for two 9-inch pans.
  • You can make the dough in advance and refrigerate or freeze it indefinitely in a sealed plastic bag.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup ground walnuts
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus extra for rolling the dough)
1/4 teaspoon (rounded measure) salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat at high speed for about 3 minutes, then stir in the nuts.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients directly into the batter. Use a spoon to mix the dough first, and then your hands, if necessary, working as quickly and efficiently as possible, and mixing just until the dough holds together. (Don't overhandle it.)
  4. Flour a clean, dry surface and roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut it into simple shapes with a knife or a cookie cutter, and place the cookies on ungreased baking trays.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.
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