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Praline Lyonnaise Shortbread

On a recent trip to Lyon I fell for its regions’ specialty; Praline Lyonnaise.  As usual, I thought why purchase something that I can learn to make plus I didn’t want to lug it home.

Once home I got to work perfecting this beautiful pink almond confection. Consequently, I made multiple test batches.

Praline Lyonnaise is not only enjoyed out of hand it is often included in brioche or as the central ingredient in a tart. However, I hadn’t come across it as part of a cookie, so I figured why not? I had more than enough with which to experiment. The recipe can easily be cut in half.

I included a wedge of this delicous cookie as part of a recent dessert. Every ingredient can be made ahead: Rose Praline Lyonnaise [1], Red Wine Poached Pears, Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Ice cream, and this shortbread.

David Schmit Photography

2 cups (9 oz /255 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ounces (6 tablespoons) semolina flour
1/2 cup (4 oz / 115 g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (8 oz / 227 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Scant 2/3 cup (3 ½ oz 80 g) chopped praline Lyonnais

Butter the bottom of 2 – 9 x 2-inch cake pans and line each with a round of parchment paper. Or use 2 – 9 x 2-inch adjustable cake rings [2] set on a parchment lined sheet pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment mix together flour, semolina, sugar and salt.  Add butter pieces and mix on medium speed just until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla extract and pralines and mix just until incorporated. Note that you are not making an homogenized dough but only a crumbly mixture.

Divide mixture in half and press into the prepared pans. Carefully prick all over with a fork. Refrigerate for an hour or even overnight. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until barely golden brown. Cool slightly.

If using cake pans place a cooling rack over the pan and tip, removing the parchment paper. Place a cutting board on the cookie and flip back over.  If using cake rings simply expand ring and remove.

Using a serrated knife cut into wedges of desired size while still warm. The longer the shortbread cools the crumblier it becomes when cut. Let cool completely before serving.