Chocolate Cashew Shortbread

August 17, 2010

It’s starting.

That point in the year where I see a cookie recipe and I think – oh, now that would be nice on my holiday cookie tray. I know it seems a bit early, but it starts for me about this time every year.

I had cookies on my mind this week because I still have some of the fabulous raw cashews that Oh Nuts sent to me a few weeks ago. While I haven’t tired of eating them as a snack or in stir-fry, I’ve felt the need to get a little more creative.

As a result I turned to my favorite shortbread recipe. I doubled the batch to make a few more for freezing, added cocoa because I’ve been hungry for chocolate, and then incorporated the cashews.

What I like most about these cookies is that they turn out pretty darn cute with very little effort. Few ingredients, easy to bake, and a rich, buttery chocolate flavor with a nutty crunch. Hello, holiday baking list!

Chocolate Cashew Shortbread

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ demerara sugar
2 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup raw cashews, finely chopped
24 to 30 raw cashew halves (optional)

In a mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Let it mix on medium and then high for about 3 minutes. The demerara takes a while to get incorporated. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and vanilla.

On a piece of plastic wrap, spread out the chopped cashews. Remove the cookie dough from the mixing bowl and form it into a log with your hands. The length is up to you and depends on how big you want your cookies. Mine ended up being about 18 inches long, give or take a bit.

Place the cookie dough log on the plastic wrap and gently roll in the cashews until it is fully coated in nuts. Wrap the plastic wrap around the cookie dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and use a serrated knife to cut the cookies about a ½ inch in thickness. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, or on a baking mat on a cookie sheet. Press a cashew half into the top of each cookie if using.

Bake for 12 minutes or just until cookies are firm. The edges and cashews will brown only slightly, if at all. Allow to rest for 3 or 4 minutes and carefully move to a cooling rack. Makes about 24 to 30 cookies.

Disclaimer: I’m sure you are just dying to read one, so you can check out the original when I used Oh Nuts in a recipe a few weeks ago. Oh, alright, I won’t make you surf the web. Oh Nuts were sent to me free of charge for review, no obligation, no compensation.

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  • kat August 17, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Oh they are really cute & would be so pretty on a holiday cookie tray. I’m imagining them with almonds (as I’m not a cashew fan)

  • emily (a nutritionist eats) August 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

    You do plan ahead!
    Do you find that white whole wheat works in place of all purpose flour? I’ve not experimented a lot with it…

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) August 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Love the cookies, especially the chopped cashews around the outside. I bet hazelnuts would be awesome as well.

  • Pam August 18, 2010 at 7:50 am

    This looks delicious! Wish I had one!

  • Anna August 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I love cookies with some crunchy in it, fruits or nuts. That looks yummy, chocolate and cashews…delicious.

  • 5 Star Foodie August 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    These are so pretty with the cashews in the center! Yum!

  • gastroanthropologist August 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    It’s never too early to plan that holiday cookie tray! I have a running list that I add to or subtract all year long! I love cashews and love the whole one in the middle. Marianne’s suggestion with hazelnuts sounds very tempting too!

    Should we have a holiday cookie exchange via blog this year?!

  • Indonesia Eats August 19, 2010 at 2:13 am

    I like cashew. Sometimes I also use for making gado-gado dressing.

    Congrats on being featured at the Foodbuzz TOP 9 today!

  • K O R I August 19, 2010 at 5:26 am

    These are so cute and delicious, I’m sure, too! Congrats on the top 9 🙂

  • Reeni August 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I like the sound of a chocolate shortbread! And cashews make these a real winner for me. I am starting to buy flour and baking supplies when I see them on sale for the holidays, my favorite time of the year. Congrats on making top 9 yesterday!

  • Marisa August 20, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Oooh yes please!

  • Debinhawaii August 22, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    These are adorable cookies and they look like they taste delicious too. 😉

  • Lori August 23, 2010 at 3:51 am

    kat – Almonds would work great. I might use that idea too for variety!

    emily – I love whole white wheat flour! Cathy of A Life Less Sweet told me about it and the product is so much closer to using refined white flour, nothing like whole wheat flour. It tends to be a little drier, but has worked in all my recipes.

    Marianne – Hazelnuts are a great idea!

    Pam – I loved how they turned out!

    Anna – Oh, some dried fruite might be a good addition. Maybe dried cherries.

    5 Star – Thanks! They are so easy to make.

    gastroanthro – Yes, I’m getting like that too. I always have the list in mind. Yes! Let’s do it!

    Indonesia Eats – Thanks! I need to look up that dressing.

    KORI – Thank you!

    Reeni – I can’t wait for all those supplies to start popping up around here!

    Marisa – The one downfall of foodblogging. It’s difficult to share! 🙂

  • Tangled Noodle August 23, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Gaaah! I still have to survive Halloween candies and Thanksgiving feasts, and already you’ve got me thinking about Christmas cookies!! Very naughty….(but I thank you – these cookies are awesome!!)

    Cashews are one of my favorite nuts and I remember your post about how crazy dangerous they are to harvest (poisonous sap!)

  • OysterCulture August 24, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Yummy – Why not start thinking about the cooke trays now, that way you have plenty of time to experiment and develop the right combination – kinda like a good cheese plate in my mind – you don’t want them all the same color, need to mix them up. These look like a brilliant addition regardless of the platter.

  • Liz September 4, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Such a great recipe – thanks! I usually like my cookies baked a bit more, so I put them in for 15 minutes, and then broiled the tops for a minute. It turned them brownie-crackled on the outside with a truffle-like center. Quite pleasing 🙂