Pecan Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Cocoa Macadamia filling.
For the dark chocolate ganache
125 ml 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
80ml unsalted butter
30ml heavy cream
¼ tsp salt
For the cookies
250 ml ground pecans flour
180 ml all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
125 ml unsalted butter
160 ml sugar or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
Cocoa Macadamia nut butter
For the dark chocolate ganache: In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, add the chocolate, butter, and cream, and whisk just until melted and smooth.
Transfer the ganache to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the cookies: In a mixing bowl, combine the ground pecans, flours, kosher salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl, beat the unsalted butter, sugar, and vanilla together until the mixture is fluffy and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and beat well. Add the flour and pecan mixture and mix at low speed until the dough is just combined, about 1 minute. The dough will look crumbly, and that’s OK.
Dump about half of the dough mixture onto a square of plastic wrap. Using your hands, bring the dough together into a flat ball, wrap tightly, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Repeat for the second half of the dough.
Set a rack in the middle position of the oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the first ball of dough over a large square of parchment paper set directly on a flat countertop. Place a second square of parchment paper over the dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out as many shapes as possible, carefully transferring each cookie onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Set the cookies about 2.5 cm apart to allow for some light spreading. Gather the scraps, reroll, and cut out new shapes, repeating until there is no dough left.
Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until pale golden on the edges, rotating the sheet halfway through. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To assemble the cookies: Take the ganache out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan on filling up the cookies so it softens to room temperature.
Spread a thick layer of ganache on the underside of a cookie, leaving an indentation in the center. Drop a bit of cocoa macadamia in the center. Cover with another cookie, very gently pressing to spread the ganache all the way to the sides of the cookie (shortbread cookies are very crumbly, so make sure to proceed with great care.) Repeat to assemble all cookies.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The assembled cookies are best enjoyed within 3 days, as the ganache and nut butter tend to soften the cookies past that.
Take the cookies out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving to return them to room temperature before enjoying.