Holiday recipe: California walnut shortbread house
- 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) superfine sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla
- 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) California Walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) meringue powder
- 4-2/3 cups (1150 mL) icing sugar
1 Shortbread: In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy; stir in vanilla. Add flour, salt and walnuts; stir until blended. Pat dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze 30 minutes or until firm. Once chilled, place dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to 1/2-inch (1-cm) thickness. Cut into desired shapes for house [each piece should be no larger than 6 inches x 8 inches (15 cm x 20 cm)]; gently remove from parchment paper and place on baking sheet.
2 Bake shapes in centre of 300F (150C) oven 30 minutes or until firm and golden. Let cool completely before transferring gently to rack. Repeat with remaining house shapes.
3 Icing: In medium bowl, beat water and meringue powder 2 minutes or until foamy. Add icing sugar; beat 4 more minutes or until very stiff peaks form. Keep covered with damp towel to prevent drying. Makes 3 cups.
4 To assemble house: With pastry bag fit with desired tip, use icing to secure pieces of house together. Let sit at least 4 hours or until completely dry before decorating.
5 Decorate roof with California walnut halves and remainder of house with walnuts, candies and other goodies as desired.
For more great walnut recipes, visit The California Walnut Commission.