Mexican Shortbread Cookies

Mexican Shortbread Cookies

Scant 1/2 cup unblanched whole almonds
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus additional for buttering pan
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds and the flour on
    separate baking sheets. Place both in the oven and bake until the almonds
    are toasted and the flour is a deep creamy color, about 12 to 15 minutes,
    stirring the flour and the almonds once. Set aside to cool completely.

  2. Place the almonds and the sugar in a food processor and process until the
    nuts are ground. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder into a large
    mixing bowl. Stir in the almond mixture. Add the butter and shortening,
    working it in with your fingers until you have a crumbly dough.

  3. Press the dough together, flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate
    for 2 hours.

  4. Butter a cookie sheet well. Unwrap the dough and place it on top of the
    plastic wrap; cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap. Using a rolling
    pin, roll the dough out between the sheets of plastic with quick, short
    movements until it is about 1/4 inch thick; it will be crumbly around the

  5. Using a cookie cutter 2 inches in diameter, cut out as many cookies as
    you can. Transfer them to the cookie sheet with a spatula, being very
    careful or they will break apart. Gather up the remaining dough and roll out
    and cut out more cookies. Repeat until all of the dough has been used.

  6. Bake the cookies on the top rack of the oven until they are pale golden
    in color, about 10 to 15 minutes. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over them
    and set them aside to cool before removing them from the cookie sheet. Store the cookies in an airtight container.

YIELD About 20 cookies