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Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 07:09 pm

Black walnut shortbread cookies (dipped in chocolate)

art7892

  • 3/4 c. black walnuts
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. LOOSELY packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 2 ¼ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Approximately 8 oz. good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (if dipping)
Toast the black walnuts in a 350º-degree oven in a single layer until very lightly browned and fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Grind the nuts in a nut grinder or food processor and measure ½ c. Reserve any excess ground nuts for another use.

Preheat the oven to 325º. Combine the ground nuts, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and flour until a stiff dough is formed. Line a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan, preferably one with squared off edges, with parchment paper. Pat the dough evenly into the pan. Cut the dough with a sharp knife lengthwise in half and then crosswise in fourths. Cut each rectangle diagonally into triangles. You should have 16 triangles. Prick each triangle decoratively with a fork.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until set. Do not allow to get too brown. Immediately run a knife along the cut marks and the edges of the pan. Cool completely. Remove the shortbread triangles from the pan.

If dipping the shortbread triangles in chocolate: Place the chocolate in a small, deep bowl/container such as a coffee mug. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the microwave over low to medium power (depending on your microwave). Microwave for 2-3 minutes. Uncover the chocolate and stir. Recover the container with plastic wrap and repeat JUST until the chocolate is melted. There may still be small lumps when you remove the chocolate from the microwave, but stir and they may dissolve. Dip one (or more) points of the shortbread triangles into the chocolate and place on a sheet of parchment paper to firm.

Alternatively, you could put the melted chocolate into a plastic bag, cut off a tiny corner and drizzle the chocolate decoratively over the shortbreads.

Makes 16 triangles.
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