The Light Side of the Moon Recipe: Sean’s Candied Walnut Shortbread


So here is a recipe for bookclubs or TLSotM enthusiasts or anyone who want to share in some cookie joy. I based this off a shortbread recipe that I’ve used many times. I don’t know exactly where it came from. It creates a not-too buttery shortbread as we don’t like greasy cookies or pie crusts in my house. (And yes, I use the shortbread for both cookies and pie crust.) It uses brown sugar but will be good with granulated sugar if that’s what you have on hand.

EXCERPT: Cadi eyed her and murmured, “Hmmm…” To Sean she said, “She looks ashore with her breath in her fist.”

Ellie was getting used to Sean and Cadi’s strange idioms, even if she didn’t know what they all meant. “Are you?”

“Just to see our mums and Michael,” Sean replied. “Keep your nose out of everyone’s business. A person without prudence is a ship without an anchor.”

Cadi gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Be good and stay away from the longshorehands.”

Knowing the answer would be yes, Ellie asked, “Can I make cookies—biscuits—while you’re gone?”

“Clean up after yourself,” Sean said. “There’s a recipe card for Walnut Shortbread on the wall. Use those candied walnuts.”

Ellie slipped back below, took off her jacket, got started preheating the stove, and opened the pantry for ingredients. 

“What are you up to?” Glenn asked as she poured herself a cuppa from the kettle.

“Sean said I could make biscuits.” Ellie set the flour and sugar on the counter, glancing at the kettle to make sure the water was above the blue line.

“Good. It’ll keep you away from the longshorehands. I’ll be leaving for a quick meeting, but be back in a few hours. Holds are open, but our space is to be kept locked. Remember the emergency code?”


Sean’s Candied Walnut Shortbread

Candied Walnuts (Just in case you didn’t have any on hand you need to use up)

  • 150 grams/1 cup of chopped walnuts (or nuts of choice)
  • 50 grams/¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • 30 grams/2 tablespoons of butter

Melt butter in skillet over over medium heat. Swirl butter around to coat pan. Add walnuts and sugar.

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so mixture doesn’t burn.

Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts.

Allow to cool while you make cookies

  • Butter for greasing pans/ or parchment
  • 240 grams/1 cup butter
  • 100 grams/1 cup brown sugar
  • 220 grams/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt if you use non-salted butter

Preheat the oven to 148°C/300°F.

Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar until fluffy, then beat in the flour.

Hint: This is a stiff dough so the mixture will feel a little dry; keep beating till it comes together, I use my hands to mix cookie dough. (Safety Tip: If you do use hands to mix doughs, wash them!)

Once flour is incorporated, mix in the candied nuts.

Drop the dough by a rounded teaspoon onto a prepared baking sheet. Flatten each ball of dough to about 1 centimeter (3/8 inches) thick; use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten.

Bake for about 22-25 minutes in a preheated oven. Turn sheet if necessary at 10 minutes. You want them to be set, but not brown.

Remove c from the oven, and cool on the pans, or on a rack.

Yield: about 4 dozen small cookies

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