Since it’s Valentine’s Day, you can’t help but think about the people you love – and treating them to their favorite goody.  The mister loves shortbread cookies.  With a cup of tea or coffee.  With a bowl of ice cream.  It doesn’t matter.  I love them, too, not only because they are simple – and it’s that simplicity that makes them so tasty – they’re easy to flavor if you want to make them something special.  That delicate crumbly, buttery texture is perfect for the addition of citrus or even dried fruit (chopped dried cherries – YUM!)

However, one of my favorite things to do is add some almond to it.  It’s one of those subtle flavors that doesn’t knock you out on your first bite – in fact this recipe just adds a slight depth to the cookie, making it a bit richer. 

Almond Shortbread Cookies

  • 8 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar (superfine, if you can get it)
  • 8-10 drops almond extract
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Using a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then scrape down the side of the bowl.  Add the ground almonds, salt and almond extract and mix thoroughly.  Finally, add the flour and mix until just combined.  Press into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap then chill for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 325 and prepare a couple of cookies sheets by lining them with parchment paper.  Roll the dough out to 1/4″ thickness and use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out the shapes you’d like.  Place them on the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden.  If you would like to decorate with sugar, dust them right after they come out of the oven.

buttery, nutty love for Valentine's Day!