Lemon-Walnut Shortbread Cookies

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recipe thursdayI'm beginning to believe that I can bake with a nearly empty larder, the same way I can make a meal from what Tod calls "nothing in the fridge." I wanted to bake a treat for the Matsudai folks who will be dancing in the Kinseees program on Friday, but my fridge was a little bit lacking.

I'm all out of eggs. That's one strike against baking. There wasn't enough butter for a full recipe of anything. But I found some walnuts so I took advantage of the walnut oils to shorten my cookies. And I had a lemon to flavour the dough. So I decided on a variation of a holiday favorite: balls of walnut shortbread.

And the cookies are lovely: delicately lemon scented, strongly walnut flavoured, and when rolled in powdered sugar, they are just sweet enough.

Lemon-Walnut Shortbread Cookies
makes 48 cookies

3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup powdered sugar

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the lemon zest & juice, mixing throughly. Stir in the walnuts. Add the flour a cup at a time, stirring until just mixed. The dough will form a soft ball. Roll 1" balls and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 180°C for about 12 minutes, or until not-even-lightly-brown.

Remove from cookie sheet while hot and roll in powdered sugar. Be careful not to burn your fingers. Cool completely on trays.

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Nothing up your sleeves either!

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