Aww Nuts!

Aww Nuts!

I picked up a beautiful package of dried apricots at the market last week with the intention of doing a really nice stuffed pork loin. Honest, it was going to be a slammin‘ roast. But my inner carnivore got antsy and I just tossed the loin on the grill nekkid… so to speak. That left me with this lovely untethered box of apricots… taunting me from the upper cabinet.
I really hate buying something and not using it. It ends up hanging out in the pantry, getting chummy with the Tahini Paste (satay that never got made) and the jumbo tapioca pearls (a passing infatuation with Bubble Tea)… nagging at me…

I found a recipe the other day for an almond and apricot cookie with pine nuts, and that got my interest up. Although, I’m not a fan of toasted almonds in cookies (too hard)…   And the pine nuts…while great in salads or savory dishes, they’re not even my last choice for a cookie. And then there was the problem with the dough recipe –  it was more cakey than I like… so I scrapped everything except the apricots and started from new.

Apricot and Nut Shortbreads
Makes 3 Dozen

1/2 Pound Butter – Softened
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar + 1 Cup Sugar for Coating
1/2 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1 Cup Dried Apricots – Chopped
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Nutmeg
1 Cup Shelled Pistachio Nuts
1/2 Cup Toasted Pecans
1 Stand Mixer with Medium Bowl
A Roll of Cling Wrap
Parchment Paper
2 Baking Sheets
1 Large Zipper Baggie
Something Heavy to Whack With

  • Place the shelled pistachios in the zipper bag and pound til pulverized – set aside
  • Chop the pecans and apricots and set aside (Size of the chop is pretty much up to you. It just depends on how big a chunk you want to bite into – I did mine with about 1/4″ pieces)
  • In mixing bowl, cream butter, salt, confectioners and the 1/2 cup of regular sugar
  • Sift the flour and cornstarch together and gradually add to the batter – mix to combine
  • Add the nutmeg and cinnamon and mix to combine
  • Remove bowl from the stand and fold in the nuts and apricots
  • Turn the dough out onto a sheet of cling wrap and form into a 2″ log
  • Wrap and chill for 30 minutes
  • Preheat Oven to 325
  • Place the remaining sugar into a small bowl
  • Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick and roll into a ball
  • Coat the balls in sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • With your thumb, press down lightly on each ball to form a thumb imprint in the center
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove the sheets from the oven and leave on the pan for 1 minute
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely

If you are lactose intolerant – substitute the butter with lard minus 1 tablespoon and add a tablespoon of butter substitute – I use Smart Balance

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