FBLCookie Exchange: Chestnut Shortbread
I know you’re probably expecting a cocktail today, but I’m doing something different. You may remember that last year I participated in a Blogger Cookie Exchange with the Food Blogger Love group (the same group that does Choctoberfest!). This year I did it again and it was a blast! Every blogger that signed up got 3 other blogger names and we sent a dozen cookies to each of them. Then we got 3 dozen cookies in return. It was pretty fun sending off my cookies to a new friend and exciting awaiting my cookies in the mail! This is what I received:
- White Chocolate and Cranberry cookies from Lisa at Bloghetti
- Nutty Florentines from Allison at the Pinterest Kitchen. Allison was actually one of the organizers of this great event!
- Vanilla Mint Cake Mix cookies from Elizabeth at The Recipe Revival blog.
They were some tasty cookies, so make sure you check out their blogs for the recipes! It was also fun to interact with the bloggers that got my cookies. This year I made chestnut shortbread. I wanted to continue my theme of cookies with chestnuts in them (last year I made these Chewy Chestnut Chocolate & Ginger cookies) and also wanted something that was tasty but sturdy enough to endure being shipped.
These cookies are filled with chestnuts cooked two ways: roasted and boiled. Roasted chestnuts have a ton of great flavor (check out my post from last December on how to roast chestnuts) but they get hard when baked in the shortbread. Boiled chestnuts have a softer texture but lose some of their flavor. I figured the boiled ones could be left in larger chunks to add some texture to the shortbread and ground roasted ones would provide more of that lovely chestnut flavor.
To boil the chestnuts, cut an X into the top of each one. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the nuts about twenty minutes, or until the shell starts to peel back. Take the chestnut out of the water and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the shell and inner skin. To get the roasted chestnuts really fine, I put them in a food processor and blended until they were almost crumbs.
Now onto the cookies!
Cream together the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment of a stand or hand mixer until pale and fluffy (about two minutes). Now mix in the vanilla.
Next add the flour and salt and mix until not quite combined.
At this point, you’ll add both types of chestnuts and stir it all by hand until the chestnuts are evenly distributed.
Now the dough needs to chill, so that the cookies don’t spread too thin. Cover your bowl or wrap the dough in parchment paper and chill it in the fridge for an hour. You can also do this part ahead and chill the dough overnight.
Once the dough is chilled, preheat your oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Now it’s time to roll out your dough. Roll it out on a floured surface to about a quarter inch thick. Next cut into shapes using cookie cutters. I actually used biscuit cutters for simple circles.
Place your cookies on the prepared cookie sheets and sprinkle with sugar. The sugar adds a little crunch and also a little festive sparkle. 🙂
Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until the cookies are starting to brown on the edges. Cool them on a rack and enjoy!
This shortbread is super buttery and has a satisfying texture from the boiled chestnut pieces. I can also vouch for these babies being a good cookie to ship, if the recipient will get them within four days.
This recipe makes eighteen to twenty-four cookies.
Make sure to check out the cookies other bloggers in the cookie exchange made. You can click on them below or search on social media for #FBLCookieExchange.
What are some of your favorite holiday cookie recipes?
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup finely chopped roasted chestnuts
- 1 cup boiled chestnut pieces
- Cream together butter and sugar using the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy (about two minutes). Mix in the vanilla.
- Add flour and salt and mix until not quite combined. Stir in both types of chestnut by hand until evenly distributed.
- Chill the dough for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Roll dough on a floured surface to about 1/4" thick. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters.
- Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are starting to brown on the edges.
- Cool on a rack and enjoy!