California Walnut Shortbread House

  • Yield 12 servings
  • Prep 35 mins
  • Cook 30 mins

Visions of shortbread houses will dance in their heads. Feature this delicious project as your centerpiece and dessert! Three batches of dough and one batch of icing are required to make the entire house, including chimney, door and windows. One batch of dough is perfect for cookies.


Walnut Shortbread
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup California walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup meringue powder
4-2/3 cups icing sugar



  1. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy; stir in vanilla. Add flour, salt and walnuts; stir until blended.

  2. Pat dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze 30 minutes or until firm. Once chilled, place dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to 1/2-inch (1-cm) thickness. Cut into desired shapes for house (each piece should be no larger than 6 inches x 8 inches [15 cm x 20 cm]); gently remove from parchment paper and place on baking sheet. Pat excess dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for later use.

  3. Bake shapes in centre of 300F (150C) oven 30 minutes or until firm and golden. Let cool completely before transferring gently to rack. Repeat with remaining house shapes.


  1. In medium bowl, beat water and meringue powder 2 minutes or until foamy. Add icing sugar; beat 4 more minutes or until very stiff peaks form.

  2. Keep covered with damp towel to prevent drying. Makes 3 cups.

To assemble house:

  1. With pastry bag fit with desired tip, use icing to secure pieces of house together. Let sit at least 4 hours or until completely dry before decorating.

  2. Decorate with California walnut halves, candies, pretzels and other goodies as desired.

Makes 1 house.


Source: California Walnut Commission



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