I usually turn to simple recipes throughout the year, but during the holidays I choose a few recipes that require a bit more time and patience....special treats. Make sure when you're grinding the nuts for the shortbread that you grind them just until they're finely chopped, before they turn into almond butter. If you want to speed up the cooling process of the almonds and get on with making the cookies, just place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes.
Chocolate Dipped Almond Shortbread
makes 53 cookies
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups almonds , toasted and finely chopped
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped and melted
To Toast Nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Put the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. Either chop nuts finely with a knife or place the nuts in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Assembling DoughLine a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of the food processor combine all the shortbread ingredients except for the chocolate. Gently pulse to combine. Scrape dough onto counter. Gently shape into a ball, it's almost like pastry work (delicate). Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a long rectangular log. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. To freeze dough, place in a resealable plastic bag and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight).
BakingPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the shortbread from the refrigerator and gently cut with a serrated knife into 1/4 inch pieces. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan.
Once shortbreads cool, dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Transfer back onto the parchment lined baking sheet and let set. Once all the cookies have been dipped in the chocolate, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge, between pieces of waxed or parchment paper, or they can be frozen.