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Recipes Around the World International Vegetarian Union
Vegan Central & South American Recipes
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Cashew Cookies
from Sandi

Cornstarch is one of the secret ingredients behind this traditional crumbly Brazilian cookie. Ground cashews are the other, contributing their distinct brand of richness and nutty sweetness. Courtesy Gourmet Magazine.

8 large cookies

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (3 1/2 oz)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons vegan margarine butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • parchment paper

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Pulse ½ cup nuts in a food processor until finely chopped, being careful not to process to a paste, then transfer to a large shallow baking pan.

Toast nuts, stirring every 2 minutes to prevent edges from burning, until pale golden, 6-8 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

Whisk together flour and cornstarch in a bowl.

Beat together margarine and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer or 5 with a handheld.

Add toasted ground nuts and salt and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix just until a dough forms.

Form dough into a rectangular block and roll out between 2 (12-inch long) sheets of parchment with a rolling pin into a 10- by 8-inch rectangle.

Chill dough in parchment on a baking sheet until firm, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop remaining ¼ cup nuts.

Discard top sheet of parchment and sprinkle dough with coarsely chopped nuts. Bake until golden, 14-16 minutes.

Transfer shortbread to a rack and cool completely, then break into rough shapes with your hands.

Keep cookies in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week. For a neater cookie, cut shortbread, while still hot, into 8 (roughly 8- by 1 ½-inch) cookies with a pizza/pastry wheel or sharp large knife.