Friday, 23 December 2011

Walnut Cranberry Shortbread cookies

A dear friend of mine sent me "popina - book of baking", for my birthday. I loved the book and I am very grateful to her for her thoughtfulness. A good friend always knows what you would love to receive as a gift. I will review this book in detail in a later post. Stay tuned!.

 I wanted to bake some cookies one weekend and I decided to try one of the recipes from this book.
 I had some walnuts handy and I had a pack of cranberries (dried and sweetened) that I had got from Canada last month. I decided to add cranberries to this walnut shortbread recipe from this book.
Recipe adapted from "popina - book of baking"
Flour - 125 g - 1 cup
Golden Caster Sugar - 60 g - 1/4 cup(I used granulated white sugar, pulsed in the blender for 30 seconds)
Unsalted butter at room temperature - 90 g - 6 tbsp + 1 tsp
Shelled walnuts - 100 g (I used 1/4 cup of walnuts and 1/4 cup of cranberries)
Vanilla extract - a few drops
Icing sugar or vanilla sugar to dust. (optional)

Preheat oven to 130 degress C.
Roast the walnuts for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. You could also roast the walnuts in the microwave at 2 minute pulses for a total of 5-6 minutes. Allow the walnuts to cool and chop them fine. Chop the cranberries too.

I used granulated white sugar and pulsed it in the blender for 30 seconds.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries and gently fold in the flour until well mixed. 
The original recipe asks you to roll out the dough into a cylindrical log and cut out 2cm thick discs and roll them into balls and then bake the balls. I skipped this step. I just made walnut sized balls of the dough and baked on a baking tray placing them an inch apart.  
Bake for 30 minutes; remove the cookies while they are still soft in the middle. Remove from oven and dust with icing/vanilla sugar. 
I found it a little strange that we bake the shortbread at lower temperature for 30 minutes, but I did as the recipe indicated and it did turn out well. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Strong flavor of walnuts and the sweet tanginess of cranberry is delectable. These were a hit at home. I find myself baking this with variations in the future.

  priya's signature image at photobucket

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