Tuscan Shortbread

TuscanShortbreadBakedHorizbfLOThere are cookies that take a lot of fussing, and there are cookies that don’t.

These are one of those.

Like the Angeletti, these little bits o’ crunchy, nutty goodness require no electric mixers or chilling or rolling out or stuff; as a matter of fact, these could be considered less fussy to make than the Angeletti, ’cause there’s no cookie scooping or glaze adding involved – just one bowl and one baking pan – no muss, minimal fuss, about ten minutes to toss it all together and another twenty mebbe to bake.

Best American Recipes 2000 and author Melanie Barnard call these “Tuscan Rosemary and Pine Nut Bars” – but they really are just a tasty little shortbread with the addition of lightly toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh rosemary.

•1/4 cup pine nuts
•8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
•1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
•1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary – or 2 tsp dried
•1 cup flour

ButterSugarRosemaryPineNutsbfLOPreheat oven to 350º and place rack in the middle position.

Spread the pine nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for about five minutes, stirring once or twice, just until they’re a shade darker and fragrant. Keep watch on them, as they can easily burn.  Take off the cookie sheet and set aside.

Melt the butter over medium heat (or in the ‘wave), then remove from heat and stir in the confectioners’ sugar, pine nuts, and rosemary.

TuscanShortbreadMixedbfLOStir in the flour to make a stiff dough, then spread and pat evenly into an ungreased eight inch square baking pan. I patted mine into a 9 inch round tart pan.

Bake for about twenty minutes, until the dough is golden and firm at the edges.

Cool on a rack for two minutes, then cut. Sixteen squares if you’re doing the square pan, or a dozen slender slivers if TuscanShortbreadTinbfLOyou’ve used your tart pan.

Let cool in the pan for another ten minutes before removing and stashing in a tin lined with parchment paper.

Store, tightly covered, for up to five days, or freeze for up to one month.

We’ve been liking these as a different kind of appetizer munchie or as a light breakfast nosh – try ’em and see if you don’t agree!

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