Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Eine Kleine Dessert

This is something I made yesterday for my writing group: Mixed-nut shortbread from Gourmet's "every day quick kitchen."

It was fast and economical and ever so tasty:

Mixed Nut Shortbread

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
3/4 cup salted and roasted mixed cocktail nuts, coarsely chopped

Put rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit.
Stir together butter and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until combined well. (note: good arm exercise).
Stir in vanilla, then add flour and mix with your hands until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased baking sheet and spread evenly with your fingers to form an 8-inch square.

Sprinkle with nuts evenly over dough, pressing down to help them adhere. Press in a business-like way or they will fall off.

Sprinkle remaining 1 T. sugar over nuts and bake until shortbread is ddep golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes.

Cut into 18 bars, about 3-by-1 1/2 inch bars.

Note: If you have unsalted nuts, sprinkle them with a little salt in addition to the sugar. I did this and it worked fine.

The shortbread took a while to firm up, but in a few hours, it was wonderfully crisp and the flavor is excellent. Mixed nuts are frequently on sale in your drug store as well as the supermarket.


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