Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hickory Nut Shortbread

Continuing our trials with baking, we finally found a use for all those hickory nuts we collected from the woods in the fall.  Last night we adapted a walnut shortbread recipe, just substituting hickory nuts for walnuts and made the most delicious shortbread cookies!

The industrial strength nut cracker that the Gardeness gave me for Yule was put to good use and made the job much easier (and safer) than using a hammer.

Also, after moving two of our taps over the weekend our maple sap collection has taken off and I'm feeling really optimistic about how much syrup we might get. We've started the alpine strawberries (from seed again) with gooseberries next on the agenda. It was kind of a busy weekend, in a relaxing sort of way.


Kate said...

Wow! I'm in awe of your shortbread and your patience! We tried shelling hickory nuts and gave up after maybe a dozen nuts. Does the cracker really make things easier, or do you have the patience of Job? We found that even when we could crack the nuts, the nutmeats and the shells were so bad broken up that it took a lot of time to distinguish the little pieces one from the other.

The nutcracker looks like it means business, but expensive as well. Have you used it on other nuts? I'll have to give it some thought...

Gardener said...

The cracker absolutely makes the task easier but it took a bit of adjustment to keep it from pulverizing the shells. I haven't tested it on any other kinds of nuts yet but I imagine it'll power through anything we can grow around here.

If we had near as many walnut trees as we do hickories I probably wouldn't have bothered. I have to say though, the taste really made it worth it. I will absolutely be doing it again this fall.