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With walnuts, almonds, and orange zest, this recipe has Sicilian roots. It also offers healthy snacking: each cookie in this recipe contains the equivalent of one Dried Plum.
Yield: 20 cookies
300 grams / 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
100 grams / 1/2 cup sugar
2 grams / 1/2 teaspoon salt
200 grams / 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
5 grams / 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 grams / 1 tablespoon ice water
200 grams / 1 cup Pitted Dried Plums
80 ml / 1/3 cup orange juice
70 grams / 2/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
70 grams / 1/2 cup blanched almonds, lightly toasted
70 grams / 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 grams / 2 teaspoons orange zest
3 grams / 1 teaspoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 gram / 1/4 teaspoon salt
30 grams / 1 each egg white, beaten with a splash of water
demerara sugar (optional)
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. Scatter the butter over the flour, then pulse until a coarse meal forms.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and yolk. With the processor running, drizzle in the egg. Pulse in the vanilla and water and continue to pulse just until the dough barely comes together. If it is still too crumbly to come together when pressed, sprinkle a little water over the dough and pulse again. Do not over-process. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
To make the filling: Soak the dried plums in orange juice for 5 minutes. Drain. In a food processor, blend the dried plums with the walnuts, almonds, brown sugar, orange zest, and cocoa until the ingredients come together in a ball.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a couple of baking sheet with parchment paper.
To assemble each cookie: Pinch off a piece of shortbread approximately as large as a golf ball (about 30 grams / 1 oz) and roll into a ball. Pinch off a piece of filling about 20 grams / .75 oz in weight and roll into a ball. Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the shortbread into a disk and wrap the shortbread over the filling. Repeat with the remaining shortbread and filling. You will have 20 cookies. (Each cookie will be approximately 50 grams / 1.75 oz once baked.)
Put the cookies on the lined baking sheets and press gently to flatten slightly. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. If the tops do not brown, broil for 1 minute. Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.