(Mass Appeal) – These delicious melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies come together with simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry! Michael Kachadoorian, cookbook author and creator of bakingnaturally.com, is here to demonstrate how to make shortbread cookies with toasted walnuts.
2 Cups Unsalted Butter, plus 2 tablespoons, very soft
3 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Corn Starch
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
2 Cups Ground, Toasted Walnuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the walnuts In a food processor or a zip-top bag and grind/crush them into small but course pieces. If using a zip-top bag, smash with a rolling pin. You want the walnuts about the size of course wheat kernels. Add to a cold frypan and place over low heat. Toast the walnuts until just golden and you can smell that they are done, about 10-minutes of stirring frequently. Do not walk away, they can burn easily. Set aside and cool completely.
For the cookies:
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, add butter and beat for 1 minute. Add granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extracts, and beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture very slowly until fully combined with the butter mixture – add cooled toasted walnuts and thoroughly combine.
Line your baking surface with several sheets of plastic wrap and dump the cookie mixture on top. Form into a ball, then press into a large disk. Wrap completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and let warm up for about 15 minutes. Unwrap the dough keeping the plastic wrap on the bottom and roll the dough out to no thinner than ¼ inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out rounds and place on a baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Gather the scraps of dough, roll out, and cut more cookies. Refrigerate the cookie rounds for 30 minutes.
From the refrigerator, place cookie sheets into the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven) so that the cookies are still pale in color on top with a slightly browned bottom. Remove from oven, cool for 15 minutes. After that transfer cookies on a wire, rake to cool for another 30 minutes.