Cornstarch is one of the secret ingredients behind this traditional crumbly Brazilian cookie. Ground cashews are the other, contributing their distinct brand of richness and nutty sweetness. Courtesy Gourmet Magazine.
8 large cookies
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (3 1/2 oz)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 6 tablespoons vegan margarine butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- parchment paper
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Pulse ½ cup nuts in a food processor until finely chopped, being careful not to process to a paste, then transfer to a large shallow baking pan.
Toast nuts, stirring every 2 minutes to prevent edges from burning, until pale golden, 6-8 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
Whisk together flour and cornstarch in a bowl.
Beat together margarine and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer or 5 with a handheld.
Add toasted ground nuts and salt and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix just until a dough forms.
Form dough into a rectangular block and roll out between 2 (12-inch long) sheets of parchment with a rolling pin into a 10- by 8-inch rectangle.
Chill dough in parchment on a baking sheet until firm, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop remaining ¼ cup nuts.
Discard top sheet of parchment and sprinkle dough with coarsely chopped nuts. Bake until golden, 14-16 minutes.
Transfer shortbread to a rack and cool completely, then break into rough shapes with your hands.
Keep cookies in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week. For a neater cookie, cut shortbread, while still hot, into 8 (roughly 8- by 1 ½-inch) cookies with a pizza/pastry wheel or sharp large knife.