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Buckwheat Almond Shortbread - gluten free

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) sliced almonds
2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
14 tablespoons (1 - 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
extra sugar for decoration, about 1/3 cup
Chocolate for dipping:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Instructions:

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the almonds with 2 tablespoons of the buckwheat flour until finely ground into a meal. Add the remaining flour and sugar. Pulse to combine.

Crumble the dough evenly over a 9 x 13 baking pan. Spread the dough and pack , using your fingers. To sprinkle and imbedd the decorative sugar, when you are about three quarters of the way finished packing the dough into the pan firmly, shake the decorative sugar over the top and then finish packing so this sugar bakes into the shortbread. Score the dough using a metal dough cutter into one-inch servings lengthwise and 2 1/4 inch widthwise, or about 48 equal pieces. Prick holes using the tines of a fork to assure even baking.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until well browned. Re-score the shortbread immediately, in order to make it easier to remove from the pan after it has cooled for about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

To dip the cookies: In a heat-proof medium bowl set over hot, not simmering, water, melt the chocolate and oil, stirring occasionally until smooth. Tilt the bowl in the double boiler so the chocolate collects in a deep pool. Line a clean baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Hold a cookie by the edge and quickly dip halfway into the melted chocolate.

Remove the cookie, shaking to remove excess chocolate. Drag the bottom of the cookie along the lip of the bowl to remove more excess chocolate. Place the cookie on the baking sheet. Refrigerate to set the chocolate, about 15 minutes. Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container with wax paper separating the layers.

Recipe by Mani Niall

Comments:

White sugar will work fine for these, but I pefer - and recommend - using any grainy, dry sugar such as demerara, turbinado or "raw" sugar, is these sugars impart a crisper texture and add a note of toffee. Plus they look more festive imbedded on top. These are delicious as is, but I have also included an option for chocolate dipping.