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Amaretto Shortbread with almonds and brown sugar

Patricia Reitz

This is a tweak on a recipe posted by my good friend Laura (aka The Cooking Photographer). Laura's original recipe called for Scotch and pecans, but I didn't have any Scotch in the house so I thought I'd revise the recipe to include Amaretto and almonds. They turned out extremely well and are even better served on day 2 or 3. They'll make a wonderful addition to any cookie try - great served with coffee or tea.

Items used to make this recipe:

Amaretto Shortbread with Almonds and Brown Sugar

makes one 9x9-inch pan

Printable Recipe


  • ½ cup almonds

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup brown sugar (no lumps please)

  • 1 tablespoon Disaronno Amaretto (or 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract)

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped almonds

  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325R and place rack in the lower third of the oven.

  2. Line a 9x9-inch square baking pan lined with nonstick foil. Be sure the nonstick side is facing up. Alternately, you can use regular foil that has been lightly buttered (you want to be able to lift the bars out by the foil edges).

  3. Process 1/2 cup almonds, flour, and salt together in a food processor until almonds are finely ground. Set aside.

  4. In a stand mixer, beat the butter for a minute until creamy. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, Disaronno, and vanilla extract; beat for 2 minutes until the texture is light and fluffy.

  5. On low speed, mix in the flour, half at a time, until just combined. Be careful not to over mix,

  6. Press the dough evenly into the baking pan. Sprinkle the top with the chopped almonds and the coarse sugar - press them slightly to embed them in the cookie dough.

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges.

  8. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then grab the edges of the foil and move the shortbread to a nearby cutting surface and immediately cut into squares with a very sharp knife.

  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and finish cooling.


  • Be careful to not let the almonds burn.

  • For best results, make a day or two in advance.

  • For glass pans, lower the oven temp 25F.

Laura's original recipe can be found here.  Please check out her blog... it's one of my favorites!