A rustic simple almond shortbread with a hint of infused citrus and a handful of lightly roasted flaked almonds that enhances the nutty flavour of the shortbread itself while adding that slight bit of crunch with every bite. This is a basic recipe to one of those ‘melt in your mouth’cookies that you can’t seem to get enough of with a cup of warm tea, if you’re a serious shortbread lover!
PREPARATION TIME: 2 hours
INGREDIENTS (makes approx. 24)
- 1 cup almond flour (Note: Personally, I prefer using 1/2 cup store-bought almond flour and 1/2 cup finely ground whole almonds. This adds little flecks of brown to your cookies and also adds texture)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds
You will also need: A 3-inch round cookie cutter or any shape of your choice.
Start by whisking the butter and caster sugar together in a mixing bowl until it turns pale and fluffy in texture. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest and gradually add the egg yolks one at a time while whisking.
Set that aside and sift all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, the plain flour, almond meal and the salt. Toss in the flaked almonds halfway through mixing in order to avoid them breaking up in the dough. Slowly mix until it just comes together forming a dough in the bowl.
Note: If you prefer a strong nutty flavour, lightly roast the flaked almonds on a dry pan for a few minutes before adding them to the cookie dough.
Divide the dough in half, press each half into a disc shape with your hands and cover it in cling wrap. Set the discs in the fridge for about 30 minutes in order to firm up.
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F while you prepare the cookies.
Prepare your baking tray by lining it with greaseproof baking/parchment paper.
Roll out one disc of dough onto a sheet of parchment paper about the size of your baking tray. Using the cookie cutter start to cut out shapes spacing them 2 inches apart on the tray.
Transfer the sheet onto your baking tray and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. This ensures that the cookie retains its shape while in the oven. Place the cookies in the middle of the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Repeat the entire process with the second disc of dough. It’s easier to roll it out in two batches rather than reworking the dough one too many times.
Once out of the oven, leave the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack until they firm up. That’s all there is to it, a lovely freshly baked batch of almond shortbread ready to serve!
While cutting the cookies out, it works best to roll out the pastry onto a baking sheet in order to retain the perfect shape of the cookie without having to transfer it. This is relatively easier with a round cookie cutter but incase of other shapes chilling it the fridge is an essential step.
Once baked, be sure to place the cookies on parchment paper in an airtight container to avoid them softening up over the next few days.
If you give this recipe a go, I’d love to see how it turned out. Leave a comment below and share your pictures on Instagram using the tag #thecookbooklife!