Monday, December 09, 2013

Lovin’ summer – Kandy Shepherd

Wherever you live in the world, and whatever festivities are special to you at this time of the year, I'm welcoming the opportunity to wish you all the best!

December Down Under isn’t just about celebrating Christmas and New Year, it’s also about celebrating summer. The schools start their long vacations in December stretch right through to the end of January, the universities go even longer.Our Christmas vacation takes place at the hottest, sunniest time of the year!

Many Aussies decamp to the beach and Christmas Day is often not a traditional sit-down dinner in sometimes sweltering heat but a barbecue. In my days as a food magazine editor we came up with recipes to cook that Christmas feast on a barbecue. We discovered that a butterflied turkey—cut and spread flat—works best.

In our family, with British origins on both sides, we go for the full-on indoors feast—and thank our lucky stars for air-conditioning!

I’m sharing with you today one of my favorite Christmas recipes—Macadamia Shortbread. I only make it once a year, both to keep it special and because I love it so much I’d quite happily eat the whole buttery batch again and again!

I'm sharing the recipe for my favorite Christmas treat - buttery Macadamia Shortbread

While shortbread is Scottish in origin, macadamias are very much Australian. Although they transplanted very happily to Hawaii, these delicious nuts are in fact indigenous to Australia.

If you get a chance to make this recipe I hope you enjoy it! 

1 ¾ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
½ cup cornflour (cornstarch)
250g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 cup macadamia nuts roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to moderately slow 160˚C (325˚F). Grease and line a 30 x 20cm (11 x 7in) shallow baking pan. Sift the plain (all-purpose) flour and the cornflour (cornstarch) together, then set aside.
2. Cream butter and caster sugar until creamy. Fold in sifted flours and nuts. Press shortbread mixture into the pan. Cut through batter into six squares, then cut each square into four triangles. Bake for 40 min (until just pale golden).
3 Allow to cool in the pan. Transfer to a board and cut into pieces where marked. Store the shortbread in an airtight container.

Note: Recipe works with Australian or American measuring cups, there is only a slight difference.

(The recipe appeared in That’s Life! magazine when I worked there. When I “taste-tested” it, I knew we were onto a winner!)

For many years, I spent part of the Christmas vacation on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales, the state where I live. I love that area so much I created the fictional south coast town of Dolphin Bay in which to set my first novel for Harlequin Romance The Summer They Never Forgot.

The beach, the surf and a pretty harbor are the setting for a deeply emotional romance and brought back happy summer memories for me as I wrote it.

The Summer They Never Forgot, will be released on February 04, 2014 (to give a taste of summer in the northern hemisphere winter!)

Do you have a favorite Christmas/holiday recipe you make every year? Or a recipe you wish someone would make for you? Please leave a comment—I’d love to hear about it!

Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.

Watch out for  The Summer They Never Forgot, her first release from Harlequin Romance on February 04, 2014 in the US, the UK and Australia.

Kandy’s new contemporary women's fiction e-book, Reinventing Rose, is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, and other e-book retailers. 

Her romances include the Amazon bestseller The Castaway Bride, Something About Joe, and the award-winners Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is.

Visit Kandy at her website


Annie West said...

Hi Kandy,
I'm drooling over your macadamia shortbread recipe! Snap! The only time I make shortbread is for Christmas. We also make gingerbread and German cinnamon stars (I say we because I usually co-opt one of the kids as they're the ones who expect them every year). The trick is finding a day where we won't swelter when we put the stove on. These Aussie summers always make me appreciate salads! Fortunately the Christmas cakes are made - the one thing we absolutely have to have.

I'm so looking forward to reading your book 'The Summer They Never Forgot'. I know that south coast of New South Wales and how beautiful it is so I can't wait to see how you've woven the location into your new book for Harlequin.

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, it was a mistake to read this before breakfast. Because I've had visitors, the house is full of delicious leftovers. I was going to have fruit for breakfast, but I think perhaps I might go for the last of the chocolate chip cookies! And I blame YOU! That shortbread looks wonderful. I'll have to try it. Thanks for the recipe. So looking forward to reading THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT!

Kaelee said...

Kandy ~ I wish I could make my mother's fruitcake. Even though I have the recipe and I did help her make it numerous times, my version never is as good as hers was.

Your shortbread recipe sounds so wonderful. I'd love to try. I'll have to find some inexpensive macadamia nuts as they usually cost an arm and a leg here in Canada.
When I first tried them in Hawaii, I was told not to eat too many at once as they were a bit of a laxative. Will have to Google that and see what I can find out about it.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, Anna? How decadently delicious? Hope you enjoy the shortbread if you try it, it truly is delicious!

Kandy Shepherd said...

It's funny how handed-down recipes don't work quite as well when we try them isn't it, Kaelee? The secret ingredient must be that person's unique touch!
Funny thing is, macadamias are expensive here, too, that's another thing why this shortbread is such a treat!
I must check up about that laxative effect!!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Gingerbread and cinnamon stars! They sound divine, Annie. I bet the house

Kandy Shepherd said...

Smells wonderful while they're baking! I know what you mean about baking in the summer heat, though. I pray for rainy, cool days around Christmas!
Sorry about the two part reply I'm having real trouble making it stay!

Laurie G said...

Thanks for the recipe. We make buttery spritz cookies and rugelach, a yeast dough filled with a walnut paste. Both recipes are from my M-I-L.



3/4 lb butter (no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
or 1 pkg vanilla sugar
3 cups flour if dough too soft add a bit more or refrigerate to harden
1/2 cup ground almonds (peeled) or 1/2 tsp almond extract (easier)

Blend butter, sugar, vanilla
add flour and almonds or almond extract
mix / knead together
use a cookie press, choose different shapes
place on ungreased cookie sheets
bake at 325* or until golden brown about 15 minutes