Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Catch-up - Dec 20th - Christmas Pecan and Walnut Shortbread

Every Christmas, I make the holiday goodies. I have been doing this self-imposed duty for years. For a few years, my sister would at least help me by doing the decorations. Well, as she flies in so rarely now, she was doing the rounds and dropped her decorating duty this year. The thing is, I don't really care if they're decorated or not. O has always been the one with the collection of sprinkles stored at mom and dad's that she breaks out when I bake.

I was tempted this year not to bake. I had already made alot of cookies in Vancouver before going home to Toronto and was pretty full up with shortbread. I stopped making the fudge and truffles when I seemed to be the only one eating them. I didn't bother with my favourite pumpkin cheesecake for the same reason. See mom gets excited when we come home and stuffs the cupboards full of her korean goodies and won't let us eat a single leftover so she can cook us our favourites when we're home. But the cookies, I did. It wouldn't be Christmas, ... if I didn't gain 5 lbs.

This is an extension of the base recipe. I replaced the use of the vanilla with Kalhua. It didn't taste as strong as I would have like. I would double it and so that's what you're going to see in the recipe.

Pecan and Walnut Christmas Shortbread

1 lb butter room temperature
1 c sugar
3/4 c light brown sugar
1 t salt
2 T Kalhua
4 c flour
1 c chopped pecans
1 c chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325. Place racks at the 1/3 and 2/3 positions so they are equidistant from the top and bottom and you can bake two sheets at a time.

Use non stick pans or line the pans with the parchement paper.

Beat the butter and sugar until even.

Add the Kalhua or 1t vanilla extract and salt stir.

With the mixer on stir, add the flour carefully 1/2 - 1 cup at a time. When you have all the flour in turn up the speed briefly. Don't over beat because you don't want chewy but without water and all that butter, it shouldn't happen.

With the mixer on stir, add the nuts. Fold / stir untili evenly combine.

Line a shallow sheet pan with plastic wrap. In handfuls, spread the dough out and evenly press out on the pan, 3/4 cm thick (1/4 inch) Chill until firm. Now you could just chill and roll out but I was trying to minimise the mess. It was December in Toronto so I put the pan, covered, outside for 15 minutes.

Turn out onto a large cutting surface. Cut out shapes as you like. Try to cut them close to each other to save you time later. Decorate and place on baking sheet.

When all the dough is cut, (2 dozen or so) roll the dough back together. I decided to save time because this makes ALOT of cookies, to just roll a log and cut slices for the next batches.

Bake 15 - 20 minutes. Turn half way. Don't let brown.

Cool on racks and keep in wax paper lined tins. Keeps and gets better every day for weeks. MMMM

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