Macadamia nut oil takes the place of much of the butter normally used to make shortbread. These squares have a tender shortbread crumb and mildly nutty taste.
Macadamia nut oil is available at Sur La Table stores and some Balducci's stores.
The squares can be stored in an airtight tin for up to 1 week, or wrapped well and frozen for up to 2 months.
Yield: Makes 2 1/2-inch squares
- 18 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 7 ounces macadamia nut oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (16 ounces) flour
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, broken pieces
Combine the butter, oil, water, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, salt and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a dough forms. Add the broken nut pieces and pulse. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (it will be a fairly soft dough) and chill for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet. Press the dough into the pan to a rectangle roughly 11 by 15 inches. Gently prick all over with the tines of a fork. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cut into squares while the shortbread is still warm.
Adapted from pastry chef instructor Stephen Durfee, instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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