Macadamia Shortbreads {ModBak}

I was hopeful that this week’s Modern Baker Challenge cookie would make up for the tuile disaster and the fussy thumbprint cookies. Since it’s a shortbread, I knew it would at least be fairly easy, without a lot of ingredients. And the addition of macadamia nuts seemed like it would elevate the cookies a bit, both in style and flavor.

A classic Scottish shortbread recipe uses three ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour. This recipe adds baking powder and, of course, macadamia nuts to the trinity, but otherwise stays true to its Scottish roots.

After grinding the macadamias with sugar in the food processor, I added the flour, baking powder, and butter and whirred it together until it made a fine, powdery mixture.

When I dumped it into the pan, it was hard to envision how this sandy, silty substance would pull together into a cookie.

Of course, that’s the beauty of shortbreads. Since the only liquid in the recipe is butter, and it starts in its solid state, the dough really comes together once it hits the heat. In the meantime, I pressed the dough into the pan as best I could.

I sprinkled the dough with a little water, then topped it with macadamia nuts ground with sugar.

The shortbreads baked up beautifully. They smelled so rich and buttery, I couldn’t wait to try them.

And the flavor did not disappoint. Macadamia nuts have a buttery richness to them that paired perfectly with the shortbread dough. In fact, it’s such a natural combination, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of it before.

The cookies kept well in a plastic container, and we enjoyed them for several days. In case you’re wondering where the picture of the finished cookies went, you’ll have to ask him…

I realized I hadn’t plated the cookies for a picture, and went to get them, but they weren’t on the counter where I had left them. I looked all over the kitchen and dining room, but to no avail. I never found the cookies, but I did find the container under my daughter’s bed, where Bailey likes to take his purloined treasures.

Stupid dog.

But at least he has good taste.


  1. May 1, 2012 at 7:40 am

    […] for me. I’m a big fan of shortbread cookies and love to try different versions of them (Nick Malgieri’s macadamia shortbreads were especially delicious), but I had never heard of Hungarian shortbread before making this […]

  2. Kayte said,

    March 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I think Bailey’s nice shiny coat is the result of his good taste in buttery cookies, what do you think? Very fun post, even if you didn’t think so.

  3. Margaret said,

    March 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    TOO Funny. Poor Bailey gets blamed for everything!!!

    • gaaarp said,

      March 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      “Poor Bailey” is guilty of everything!!!

  4. March 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Pass me one, please!! 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      March 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      You’ll have to ask Bailey if he’s willing to share.

  5. Abby said,

    March 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    hehehehe Silly Bailey! I haven’t tried these yet, but they sound good…and I’m sure they looked good, too. hehe

    • gaaarp said,

      March 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      They came out looking just like the ones in the book.

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