Every Christmas I make many of our traditional Italian cookie favorites, but I do have a few cookies that I grew up with myself including shortbread cookies that I make as well from time to time. This year I decided to make buttery walnut shortbreads which I drizzled with bittersweet chocolate and they turned out great. I did in fact make a double batch for the week my family was visiting and it was a good thing I did because they were enjoyed by all with just a few crumbs left by the end of Christmas week.
This recipe is similar to most shortbread recipes I’ve come across although the only thing I change is to toast the walnuts first to bring out the nutty flavor. You also need to process the walnuts pretty finely so you aren’t left with any chunks or pieces. You can use any baking chocolate you prefer including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate although I personally prefer bittersweet chocolate myself. I find the easiest way to melt the chocolate is by either using a double boiler or the microwave. To use the microwave, chop the chocolate and place in a glass bowl and then microwave for one minute. Remove, stir, and continue to do this until the chocolate has completely melted. I toast my walnuts in a 350 degree F. oven for 8 to 10 minutes, and then once cool process them in my food processor until they are finely ground.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Cup Butter, Softened To Room Temperature
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Toasted Walnuts, Very Finely Chopped
- 4 Ounces of Melted Chocolate Of Choice (See Notes Above)
- Sift the flour with the baking powder.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter together with the sugar until it is light and fluffy, then add the vanilla and mix until blended.
- Mix the flour mixture into the butter just until blended.
- Stir in the walnuts.
- Use your hands to make a disc with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch.
- Use cookie cutters to cut into shape of choice and using a spatula place the cookies onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges just barely begin to brown.
- Once cool, use a spoon and drizzle the melted chocolate across the cookie as shown in the photo.
- Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before storing the cookies in an airtight container for up to 10 days in a cool place.