Most people like cookies or rather they love them. Shortbread cookies are a delicious and rich treat but probably one of the less popular ones out there, as compared to the beloved chocolate chip. I wanted to do a twist on the traditional shortbread. The large quantity of butter in shortbread is what makes it referred to as “short” or crumbly.
This cookie has a relatively limited number of ingredients which is why they are all equally important to the end result. I used a local raw wildflower honey that I picked up from the farmer’s market last weekend but use what ever variety you have available locally. The combination of Sicilian pistachio paste, whole wheat pastry flour and organic vanilla extract blend with the honey and butter to complete this delicious treat.There are numerous variations out there with lemon, extracts or nuts. I thought pistachios and honey would make a yummy flavor profile for this old Scottish classic. Instead of mixing chopped nuts into the dough, I added nut paste to give it a more robust pistachio flavor. You could add any type of nut paste or even swap it out for peanut butter to make it more kid friendly.
As fair warning, shortbread can be a little tricky to work with because of the high fat content. You must refrigerate the dough for a few hours before rolling it out and you must work fairly quickly when you do. Once the cookies are cut and on a baking sheet, they must be put in the freezer for a bit to ensure they hold their shape when baked. The oven temperature is lower than the average baking temperature to ensure even baking with the presence of honey and the high fat content. These cookies are delicious with tea, coffee or maybe even a little raspberry jam.
- 1/2 C. (1 stick) Organic Unsalted Butter
- 1/3 C. Wildflower Honey
- 1 1/4 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1/2 C. Pistachio Paste *see note*
- 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the butter and honey. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, scrapping the sides every 45 seconds or so.
- Add the flour, pistachio paste and vanilla extract next. Mix for approximately 2 more minutes on low until ingredients are all incorporated.
- Form the dough into a 1/2-inch thick disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow easier handling when rolling.
- Take half the quantity of dough out and leave the remainder in the refrigerator until you are ready to work with it. Dust the work surface and the dough with flour and roll to a 1/4-inch thick.
- Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut the cookies and place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment or a sil-pat. (Do not overcrowd cookies, I used two trays and put them in a staggered pattern to allow for even baking)
- Place the trays into the freezer for at least 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool on tray.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for longer keeping.
- * If you cannot find pistachio paste you can use 2/3 C. raw unsalted pistachios to blend into a paste*