'Tis the season to try new recipes. And I've found one that I crown "favorite new cookie of the month." It's nutty, crunchy, chewy, buttery, and it travels well. (Yes, be looking for some in your mailbox!)
You start with making a cashew praline, contemplating how much you can nibble on without compromising the candy:cookie ratio. Make sure there are no children around, as they are expert nibblers.
The praline is chopped and folded into the dough, refrigerated in logs, then sliced in 1/2 inch increments. I tried both a square and round shape— round logs worked better for me.
The candy caramelizes and gets a little chewy, the edges are toffee-like crunchy, and the cookie has a crisp shortbread texture. In a word, delicious!
Cashew Praline Cookie
adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book
Makes about 3 dozen
For the cashew praline:
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup finely chopped roasted, salted cashews
For the cookie:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
To make the praline:
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with a Silpat or buttered foil. Set aside.
In a heavy skillet, cook the sugar with the water and cream of tartar over moderately high heat, washing down any dissolved sugar that clings to the sides of the skillet with a brush dipped in cold water, until the mixture is a light caramel. Stir the cashews in quickly. Pour the praline onto the prepared pan and with a buttered spatula, spread it into a thin sheet. Let it cool until it hardens, and chop it coarsely. Set aside ⅓ of the praline for the topping.
To make the cookie:
In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until it is creamy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in the flour and ⅔ of the chopped praline and form the mixture into a dough. Roll the dough into two round logs, about two inches wide, and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Unwrap one log and cut it into ½-inch slices. Put them 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined or lightly buttered cookie sheet. Top the cookies with the set aside praline. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer them with a spatula to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the other log.
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Chic and Crafty,