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Chocolate Pine Nut Shortbread

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you but I’m ready to say adios to 2012.

pine nuts are my favoriteI’ve made about 5 different kinds of shortbread this December. This pine nut and chocolate one is my favorite. (The ones in the background are peppermint shortbread.)

How was your Christmas? Ours was a mixed bag of stress and relaxation with the added bonus of many lovely gifts.

Now we get to celebrate New Year. This year that means a little get together with great friends tonight and then tomorrow I cook my traditional New Year’s Day meal. After that I jump back on the healthy eating band wagon with the rest of the world. I may have indulged a little more than I should have this month. The elliptical is calling my name. . .unfortunately.

Shortbreads!!I suppose that means no more shortbread. . .or cake. . or brownies. . or pie. OK, I guess I’ll partake in moderation. Truth be told I never give up the sweets. I even have a secret candy stash.

These shortbread are so easy to make. Just a few basic ingredients. Plus you can add whatever you want to them. I used pine nuts and chocolate for these but I also made a batch where I swapped the nuts and chocolate for crushed candy canes. I was thinking of making a batch with caramel pieces and a little more salt. Or maybe I’ll just make more with pine nuts.

I am in love with pine nuts. I eat them by the handful, on salads, in yogurt, in shortbread, on roasted veggies and (my favorite) on chocolate ice cream. They are a real addiction. . .especially since they are so expensive I practically have to hock my valuables just to afford them!

YUM!Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and a relaxing New Year’s Day. I’ll see you in 2013!

Chocolate Pine Nut Shortbread

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2 cup flour

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 cup chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl beat the room temperature butter until light in color and very creamy. Add the salt and brown sugar and beat well to combine. Add the flour and slowly mix in completely. Add the pine nuts and chocolate chips.

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment that hangs over the ends of the pan. (To easily lift out of the pan after baking.) Press dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes. While still warm lift the shortbread out of the pan and, with a large knife, cut into small bars. Allow to cool the rest of the way and store in an airtight container.

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