Cashew Brown Sugar Shortbread! So good! This is going to sound strange but I’m hoping there’s at least one other person out there who will get this. Here it is, I could eat brown sugar with a spoon. I love the moist texture, the molasses notes and the way it dissolves on my tongue almost instantly. I warned you, strange, I know. Not so strange though is putting it in a cookie to create a delicious caramel like blanket over buttery shortbread, salted and roasted cashews and milk chocolate chips. Mmmm, Mmmm, good!
It’s been raining like crazy here. We get a little bit of glorious sun and then a thunderstorm, sun, thunderstorm and so on. Imagine being confined to the house, making multiple batches of these, tweaking this just right. You might have already guessed it, I ate a whole lot. The day I was going to photograph this cookie for the post we had thunderstorms all day which meant dark cloudy skies and bad light, no photos today. So I ate more. The weather man predicted sun so I made another batch to photograph, woke up to thunderstorms but the sun did finally break through and I was able to get some pics. Good thing to, I don’t think my waistline could take anymore. Notice I said my waistline couldn’t take any more. My tastebuds would have been more than happy to eat more!
Cashews are an amazing little nut. They are soft and creamy when eaten raw. Crunchy and oh so good when roasted, toasted but not stopping there lets go salted for the ultimate cashew experience. For our Cashew Brown Sugar Shortbread I went with a roasted and salted cashews and prefer a whole cashew rather than cashew bits. I want everyone to be able to enjoy all this cashew lovin’. I speak from experience, I have made this recipe multiple times and tweaked it to get it just right. I have used cashew bits and they get lost, whole cashews are the way to go.
For the shortbread crust I mixed the ingredients until a nice crumbly mixture is achieved, similar to wet sand. I then pour into prepared pan, spread and press into place. This gets baked for 10 minutes.
While the crust is baking I make the topping, the major ingredient being, my favorite, brown sugar. Now there is also a bit of egg and flour in the topping. This gives the cookie a nice thin crust on the surface which will hold in our soft brown sugary caramely center. When it comes time to mix in the chocolate and cashews I fold these in by hand so the cashews stay whole.
The timer for the shortbread bottom is going off, I take it out of the oven. Immediately add the brown sugar, cashew, chocolate topping. Plop (is that a real word?) the topping in various areas over the top of the short bread. I do this as it is a chunky topping and find it easier to spread in small areas. I have in the past added the topping to the center and spread it and it’s a small challenge getting the topping into the corners without disturbing the crust. So putting plops of topping all over allows you to be able to spread over less distance. Bake again.
Out of the oven comes this beautiful golden brown crusted, soft gooey, brown sugary caramely, cashew, chocolatey, shortbread. This cookie is a delight of flavors and textures.
Cashew Brown Sugar Shortbread
- SHORTBREAD CRUST:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp butter
- CASHEW FILLING:
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup salted/roasted whole cashews
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips semi-sweet will work also
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees
- Prepare 8x8 pan by lining with aluminum foil all the way up the edges, grease or butter the foil and pan.
- SHORTBREAD CRUST:
- Add flour, brown sugar and salt into bowl of food processor*. Blend a bit and add butter one Tbsp at a time and mix between each addition. Process until small crumbs form, similar to wet sand.
- Pour into prepared pan, spread evenly and press to make solid layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- CASHEW FILLING:
- In bowl of mixer add the brown sugar, flour, corn syrup, vanilla and egg. Mix on medium until will blended.
- By hand fold in the cashews and chocolate chips.
- Pour over warm baked shortbread crust, spread evenly and into the corners.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until medium golden brown
- Let cool completely
- Cut into 2x2 squares and serve
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