Sunday, December 20, 2009

Almond Shortbread

I make stollen every year at Christmas.  I'll blog about it in a few days.  This year I decided to order my almond paste online since it was cheaper that way, although it meant I had to get 4 cans.  I love almond paste so this is not a problem.
Tonight I'm making almond paste shortbread.  I had never seen any recipes so I invented one in my head, then decided to check the internet to see if there was anything similar out here.  Sure enough, one of the almond paste companies had a recipe that was virtually identical to the one I created in my head.  When that happens, it makes me happy since it means I know my stuff as a baker and a recipe geek.  It's the same when I decide to do a synthesis in lab and it works way better than the literature procedures  (As a baker, it's ok to make stuff up, but as a chemist it does help to see what other people have done, even if I opt not to follow it). Anyway, in my own recipe I would've added two whole eggs instead of just the yolks, and 3 cups of flour instead of 2 1/2, but it's close enough.
So anyway, it's pretty easy.  The sugar, butter, and almond paste are whipped together until fluffy, and then two egg yolks are added.  After a few minutes of mixing, the flour + baking powder are added and then the dough is pressed into a greased pyrex pan.  I added a bit of almond extract and vanilla to the butter/sugar mix, but other than that I followed the recipe.   The dough was very tasty.
I baked them for about a half hour.  The house smelled amazing.  Once they had cooled completely, I cut them and sampled.  MMMMM. Buttery almondy goodness.  This recipe is a keeper.  Most of them are going out with the cookie packages tomorrow, but I may make more since this is both tasty and easy.  They would be even better dipped in chocolate, but that's not going to happen for this batch.

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