*Postscript* I was asked to pick my very favourite of the Muesli Bar Challenge recipes, and this is it. The Passionfruit Cheesecake Slice is the most popular recipe, but this one is my all time favourite.
These taste like they are full of butter and sugar, and it’s an illusion. They actually have very little sugar and around 6 grams of butter each. The shortness of the shortbread comes from heart healthy macadamias.
Macas are in season at the moment, and this is the second macadamia based recipe in my Muesli Bar Challenge series. It’s a pity that there are so many nut allergies around now that many schools have a no-nut policy, because nuts in general and macas in particular are a really good source of good oils, protein, and a huge range of vitamins and minerals. If your school allows nuts, these are a great lunch box food – healthy, based on in-season produce, easy, fast, and I’ll bet not many of these actually made it off the bus. If it doesn’t, they’ll have to be reserved for an after-school snack!
First, crack your nuts to extract 200 grams of macadamia kernels.
Crush 120 grams of them with 120 grams of butter into a paste. My food processor handles this easily – unlike the shells, the kernels crush easily.
Add 4 dessertspoons of brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind.
Mix in 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour and knead briefly. If it is too sticky to knead at all, add a little more flour but try to keep it to a minimum. Stick the dough in the freezer for a few minutes to chill. The cooler it is, the easier to roll.
While it is chilling, crush the other 80 grams of maca kernels into coarse chunks by running over them with your rolling pin.
Flour your bench and your rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 1 cm thick. Sprinkle the crushed nuts over the top and press them into the dough. (I use my rolling pin).
Use a small glass or a cookie cutter to cut out biscuits. You may need to use an egg flip to lift them off your bench top and onto a greased oven tray.
Sprinkle just a pinch of raw sugar crystals (not brown sugar) on each one and press in.
Reknead the dough and cut out another batch. Obviously the extra nuts will now be in the biscuit rather than on the top, so you will need to make the dough a little thicker. The first ones will be (marginally) better with the toasty nuts on top. Sprinkle these with the raw sugar too.
Bake in a medium-hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, till the cookies are golden. Cool on the tray (they crispen as they cool).
Makes around 18 biscuits (or cookies if you are in USA).