I mentioned a couple days ago that I had a TWD rewind in the works. I actually made these cookies several weeks ago, not too long after everyone made the Coconut Butter Thins that Jayne picked. I didn't get a chance to make them in time to post on the correct day. And then there's the fact that I don't like coconut, either. Several people said that they couldn't taste the coconut, or that they liked the cookies even though they don't like coconut. Sorry, that doesn't work for me. I detest coconut. The flavor, the texture, the smell... Can't stand it. As in, won't even let it in the house. You know the boxes of assorted chocolates you can buy? Well, I always break the pieces open before I eat them because I'm so afraid of biting into a coconut cream-filled one. =) And this is one of the few food dislikes where Jamie agrees with me. (He eats pretty much anything but coconut and lima beans.) Gillian and Brianna may decide someday that they like it, but they won't find that out here. =)
So I decided to make the shortbread; the next question was what sort of flavoring to use. I looked through my Dorie book, and realized that the recipe for the coconut thins was pretty similar to the one for Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread. That was the first recipe that Laurie made, so it was one that I missed. I ended up sort of making my own version of the shortbread. I used the brown sugar instead of white. Instead of pecans or macadamia nuts, I went with roasted and salted cashews. And for spice I used cardamom.
The dough was simple to mix together in my stand mixer. Once it was ready, I put the dough into a gallon zip-top bag as directed and spread it out until it filled the bag. Then it went into the freezer, and ended up staying there for a couple days until I found time to bake the cookies. I let the dough thaw in the fridge before I cut it into squares. I eyeballed it, rather than using my ruler, so the squares weren't exactly square, or quite the same size. Oh, well. =) I baked the cookies on a parchment lined pan in two batches. The second pan was in the oven a bit longer, so the cookies browned more.
The verdict? I definitely can't make these too often, because I managed to eat most of them myself. Boy, were they good. I love shortbread to begin with. This shortbread was terrific, with a bit of a caramel taste from the brown sugar. The salty cashews were a great addition. I liked the second batch better, since it had a stronger browned-butter taste. And they were excellent with a cup of tea. I will certainly be making these again. (Everyone else here seemed to like them as well, which is not too surprising, since everyone really likes cashews.)
For the recipe, start with the one on Jayne's blog, here. I used 3/4 cup of packed light brown sugar instead of the 2/3 cup white sugar. I substituted cardamom for the coriander and left out the lime zest. And I used the same amount of cashews in place of the macadamia nuts. Try my version, or make up your own!