Toasted Almond Shortbread Cookies

Buttery toasted almond shortbread cookies dipped in silky dark chocolate.

Toasted Almond Shortbread from www.themessybakerblog.com

Welcome to Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

Toasted Almond Shortbread from www.themessybakerblog.com

And Christmas week continues. Today I’m contributing one of my very favorite cookie recipes, toasted almond shortbread dipped in creamy dark chocolate.

I don’t know what I like more, the buttery scent that floats throughout the house as the cookies bake or their toasted almond and sweet, buttery flavor. The life of a blogger–it’s hard, I tell ya.

This recipe is adapted from my grandmother’s toasted pecan shortbread recipe. Instead of adding toasted pecans, I decided to add toasted almonds. You know, mix things up a little. If you love pecans, use pecans. Any kind of nut will work perfectly in this recipe.

Toasted Almond Shortbread from www.themessybakerblog.com

This recipe takes a small amount of preperation. I recommend making the dough the night before you’re ready to bake since it requires at least 4 hours in the refrigerator to chill before slicing and baking.

Toasted-Almond-Shortbread-Collage

The dough: The dough is very thick. I highly recommend using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or mixing it by hand with a wooden spoon and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. Once the dough is prepared, transfer it a clean surface. Using your hands, gather the dough to form a ball. The warmth of your hands will help the process. Shape the dough into a 2-inch wide by 2-inch thick rectangular log. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill.

Baking: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Unwrap your dough log and slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet, spacing them 2-inches apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly golden in color. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Toasted Almond Shortbread from www.themessybakerblog.com

Dipping: Place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Melt 1 1/2 cups of chocolate with 1 teaspoon of shortening until smooth and velvety. Why use shortening? Good question. The shortening creates a glossy chocolate glaze. Basically, it makes your chocolate pretty. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet or directly on your counter. Dip one half of shortbread cookie into the bowl of chocolate, then place the cookie onto the parchment to cool; repeat until all of the cookies are dipped. If the chocolate begins to thicken before you’re finished dipping, place it back over the simmering pot of water until it becomes smooth. Allow the chocolate to set and harden before transferring the cookies to an airtight container or gift boxes.

Toasted Almond Shortbread from www.themessybakerblog.com

My grandmother places the cookies in a cute little candy box for gifting. She lines them up like dominos and packs the box tight, ensuring that the receiver gets his/her fair share of cookies. Naturally, I do it the same way.

My favorite way to eat this cookie is paired with a cup of black tea or coffee for dipping.

Toasted Almond Shortbread from www.themessybakerblog.com

Toasted Almond Shortbread Cookies

Buttery shortbread cookies loaded with toasted almonds and dipped in dark chocolate.

Yield: 55-60 cookies

Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon shortening

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until pale in color, about 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Add the almonds and mix until just combined.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and gather the dough together into a ball, allowing the warmth of your hands to soften the butter.
  4. Shape the dough into a 2-inch wide by 2-inch thick rectangular log. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
  6. Unwrap your dough log and slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet, spacing them 2-inches apart.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly golden in color. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cookies cool, prepare the chocolate. Add the chocolate and shortening to a heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bowl isn’t touching the water, and allow your chocolate to melt until smooth. 
  9. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet or directly on your counter. Dip one half of shortbread cookie into the bowl of chocolate, then place the cookie onto the parchment to cool; repeat until all of the cookies are dipped. 
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