These vanilla apricot shortbread cookies are and old world recipe and are one my favorite childhood treats. They keep really well and are an awesome addition to afternoon coffee or tea. They are also simple to make, even if it seems like a lot of steps.
Step 1: Ingredients and Cookware
These vanilla apricot shortbread cookies are made with fairly simple ingredients. The below amount will make approximately 60 cookies
- 2 1/4 (250g) sticks of unsalted sweet butter
- 1 cup (200g) of baker's sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups (200g) of ground walnuts
- 5 cups (500g) of flour
- Vanilla powder
- Powdered sugar
- Apricot jam
You will need the following cookware:
- Large bowl
- Measuring cups or a scale
- Wooden spoon
- Nut grinder or food processor
- Lemon zest scraper
- Rolling pin
- 1" round cookie cutter or shot glass
- Cookie sheets
- Parchment paper
- Small bowl
- Tin or plastic box
Step 2: Soften the Butter
In a large bowl cut up the unsalted sweet butter and let is stand for a few moments at room temperature. With a wooden spoon whip the butter until it's soft.
Step 3: Add Sugar and Eggs
Add to the whipped butter 1 cup of baker's sugar. Stir until the sugar and butter mix thoroughly. Add the whole egg and the egg yolk and stir well.
Step 4: Add the Lemon Zest and Juice
Wash one lemon. Scrape off the lemon peel of the whole lemon into the bowl with the butter-sugar-egg mix. Squeeze the juice out of the lemon. Mix everything really well.
Step 5: Add Walnuts
With a nut grinder or food processor grind the walnuts until you have 2 cups worth (about 200g or a little under 1/2lb). Add the walnuts to the mix and stir well.
Step 6: Add Flour and Refrigirate
Add 5 cups of white unbleached flour to the mix. Use your hands or a mixer if it's a little tough. When you have a well mixed dough, roll it into 1-2 balls, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Step 7: Roll Out the Dough, Cut It and Bake
With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it's about 1/4" (0.5cm) in thickness. You can use flour when rolling out the dough but I find that it's unnecessary because the dough doesn't stick. With a cookie cuter or shot glass cut the dough into circles. Place the cut circles on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this while you have cookie dough. If the dough gets too soft to manage, put it back in the fridge for a few moments.
Step 8: Bake
Bake the cookies on 350F (180C) for 15-20 minutes depending on oven. Make sure that the baked cookies stay pale and don't turn gold on top. The bottom of the cookie will be golden when fully baked. I usually do this by setting the timer for 15 minutes and then check to see if I need to bake a couple of minutes longer to get the desired pale on top, gold on bottom result.
Step 9: Add the Apricot Jam
Take one cookie and on the golden side spread some apricot jam. You can use other jams as well but I really like this combo. Cover the cookie with the jam with another cookie to make a cookie and jam sandwich.
Step 10: Roll in Powdered Sugar and Vanilla
In a small bowl mix a cup of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla powder really well. You can also put the sugar and vanilla into a Tupperware box, close the lid and shake really well. Roll the cookie sandwich in the powdered sugar until completely covered.
Put the cookies in a tin or plastic box. This recipe makes about 60 cookies.
Step 11: Serve
These shortbread cookies are ready to serve immediately but they do taste better if they age in the box a couple of days at room temperature. They go great with tea or coffee. Enjoy!