Scotch Mocha Nut Shortbread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

   3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter
into chunks and cream in the bowl of a food procesor. Add
   1 cup sugar.
Cream until incorporated and light.

Break into chunks
   4 ounces semisweet chocolate.
In a covered bowl, melt this in a microwave oven at half power (about 4 or 5 minutes). Remove as soon as it is soft.

Add to food processor bowl
   the melted semisweet chocolate
   1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
   2 teaspoons vanilla extract
   2 Tablespoons scotch
   2 ounces strong espresso (or other strong coffee, or 3 teaspoons instant coffee, I guess).
Process until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add additional sugar if not sweet enough, cocoa if too sweet.

   1/2 cup hazelnuts
   1/2 cup macademia nuts
   4 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks.

Process until the nuts are a bit broken up.

   1 cup white rice flour
   1 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour.

Process until the flour is incorporated. The mixture should be soft but be able to hold its shape.

Divide dough into 12 equal parts. Flatten them into 5 inch rounds and arrange them on silpat sheets or parchment on two baking racks. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and with thin stiff spatula or plastic knife, cut each round into eight pie-piece-like sectors, leaving them in place. Return to the oven, reversing the racks and rotating them front to back, to ensure even baking. The shortbread will require at least another half hour; reverse and rotate again after 15 minutes. The cookies should be firm to the touch before you remove them. The total baking time can be 45 minutes or an hour.

Allow to cook on the racks, no need to remove them. You may leave them in rounds or separate them for serving. Makes 72.

Variation: Mexican mocha nut shortbread: Along with the vanilla and scotch, add
   1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Grate into the mixture
   1/4 teaspoon whole nutmeg.

© 2003 Richard Waldinger