The funny thing about the Brazil nut is - Bolivia is actually the largest grower and exporter and technically the Brazil nut is not even a nut but a seed. The Brazil nut tree is one of the largest in the Amazon reaching 30-40 metres in height. On these trees grows a coconut like fruit - it is an effort to crack open but inside lie several triangular shaped pods. These are the coverings of white fleshy seeds and those seeds are the Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts are native to South America and Madagascar.
Brazil nuts are extremely diverse and can be used to make savoury and sweet dishes. It is not regularly used like pecans and almonds but have a wonderful earthy flavour and are lovely meaty nuts.
This recipe is super simple and can be made a few days in advance and baked on the day. If Brazil nuts are difficult to come by where you live, you can always substitute with almonds, cashews or pecans - whatever you like really!
Makes about 16 small cookies.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
60g unsalted butter
45g icing sugar
1 tsp good vanilla extract
90g Brazil nuts, finely chopped or ground in a food processor
80g plain flour
Cream the butter and sugar until pale in colour, add in the vanilla
Add the ground nuts and sift in the plain flour and mix well
Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180’C
Roll the dough into 20g sizes and flatten slightly, place on a tray lined with baking paper and allow spaces in between cookies as they well spread a little in the oven
Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes. They should turn slightly golden and harden as they cool