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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

December 9 2011

Mocha Macadamia Shortbread

3/4 cup (3-1/2 oz) salted macadamia nuts
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into half inch pieces
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Mocha Icing (recipe follows)

Place the macadamia nuts and sugar in a food
processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture resembles a fine meal. Add the vanilla extract and butter. Process just until smooth. Add 1 1/4 cups of the flour and pulse just until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the remaining cup of flour and process just until the dough starts to form a ball. Briefly knead the dough to fold in any loose crumbs. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log about 8 inches long on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Wrap the waxed paper or plastic wrap tightly around the dough and twist the ends closed. Chill for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the chilled dough into 1/3-inch thick slices and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in the center of the oven for about 8 to 9 minutes, or just until set but not brown. Let the cookies cool on
the baking sheet for a few minutes, then
transfer them to a wire rack (careful, they're fragile while they're still warm).

Glaze the cookies while still warm with mocha
icing, using a pastry brush. Store completed
cookies in an airtight container, well-wrapped these may be frozen. Separate the cookies with sheets of waxed paper or the icing may stick together.

Mocha Icing:

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
3 tablespoons boiling water
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dissolve the coffee in boiling water. Whisk in the melted butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Cover the icing with plastic wrap, with the wrap actually touching the icing surface, until you use the icing.