I’ve had a similar recipe to this one, but decided to modify it a bit by testing out a different technique to develop the flavour. I started off with “Greek Shortbread Biscuits” but added Pecan nuts instead of the traditionally used almond flour and peanut pieces. When pecan nuts are crushed, natural pecan nut oil will start seeping from the nuts, releasing a stronger more flavourable aroma and taste. (Pecan nuts consist of 73 – 75% oil).
You can therefor replace any peanut butter cookie or biscuit with pecans. * I scooped a small amount of peanut butter to the center, as a little surprise.
Best served with a frothy Cappucino or Caffè Latte!
Greek Shortbread Recipe by Nicolette van Niekerk
125ml (100g) Sugar
245 ml (225g) Soft unsalted butter
30 ml Warm water
20 ml Brandy / Rum essence
5 ml Vanilla essence
1 Egg yolk
80g Pecan nuts (whole /pieces)
800ml (450g) Cake flour
5ml Baking powder
Peanut butter for filling
Icing sugar to cover/dust biscuits
*Prepare a pan by lining it with wax paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
1. Combine the sugar and butter in a bowl.With an electrical mixer, mix until light and airy.
2. Add the water, brandy, vanilla and egg yolk together and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
3. To process the pecan nuts to a fine consistancy, grind them to a coarse powder in a Mortar and Pestle or in a blender.
4. Add the refined pecans now to the butter and sugar mixture.
5. Sift the baking powder and the flour together first, and add it to the rest of the mixture.
6. Rub the flour into the mixture with your fingertips and soon a (dry) crumbly dough will form.Do not worry about it being to crumbly as this is the correct consistency.Process it further with your hand until the dough is firm enough to handle.
7.On a clean and flour-dusted surface, start to knead the dough by hand, releasing the natural oils from the nuts and butter that was added.This will combine and moisten the dough a bit more.
8. Take a heaped tablespoon full of dough and form an oval shape cookie in your hand.It should be about 5cm in length.
TIP: Try adding a dollop of peanut butter to each cookie dough after rolling it in your hand.Make a small hole in the center, add half a teaspoon of smooth peanut butter and fold it close before baking it.
9. Place the cookies onto a prepared baking tray with 2cm spacing in between.Bake in the oven on 180℃ for 12 – 15 minutes.
10. Take them out of the oven and let cool down on a wired rack.
11. Roll them each in powdered sugar before serving them with a frothy Cappuccino or Latte!