By Request

Betty Shimabukuro

Plain or fancy,
sure to satisfy

Shortbread is a traditional Scottish cookie, tied to the Christmas and New Year's holidays. With its high butter quotient, shortbread is a rich, satisfying treat.

From out of Scotland, though, this cookie has been adopted by the world, and Zenaida R. Estrada is seeking a Hawaiian version, made with macadamia nuts. She'd also like some hints on mailing this fairly crumbly cookie to the mainland.

Shortbread is a very simple thing: flour, sugar, butter. No eggs, even. Most basic recipes can accommodate a half-cup or so of any type of nuts. The recipe can be dressed up, though. What follows are both types. A basic version and a fancier one that bakes up light and delicate, thanks to the use of cake flour in the mix.

The second is more awe-inspiring, but if mailing is the objective, the first recipe creates a sturdier bar-type cookie. Over the last holiday period, I picked up some tips on mailing foods from professionals -- as far as cookies go, here are a few:

>> Wrap cookies in plastic, then place in a fairly snug box.

>> Wrap the box in bubble wrap and put the entire bundle in a sturdy mailing box.

>> For extra protection, consider sending a couple of bags of Hawaii coffee along -- they provide padding.

Macadamia Nut Shortbread

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
2 blocks butter, chilled, cut in small cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until texture is sandy. Fold in nuts. Press into a 9-by-13-inch pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool slightly, then cut into squares.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Macadamia Shortbread

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
1 cup cake flour
1-3/4 cups finely chopped macadamia nuts
1/4 cup raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets.

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Add flour and cake flour; beat until smooth.

Combine nuts and raw sugar in a small bowl. Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in nut-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 56 cookies.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Can you help?

Leatrice Lee is looking for "a family named Loui" that ran the Moon Garden Chinese restaurant in Wahiawa many years ago. "Mr. and Mrs. Loui prepared fantastic Chinese food there, and suddenly one day they were gone." She's willing to search out their food and would like to know if they've set up shop somewhere else. Anyone know this couple?

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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