wattle seeds are the seeds from the acacia tree species a. difficilis, and have been used for thousands of years by australian aborigines as a food source. it tastes a bit like chocolate, a bit like coffee, a bit like hazelnuts, so nowadays it's a rather popular? trendy? flavouring component for almost anything sweet and some things savoury.
since it's bush tucker, i turned to my favourite aussie chef, bill granger, for a simple shortbread recipe i could use to highlight the wattle seeds mellow nuttiness. i adapted this recipe from his heart shortbread kisses found on page 90 of "sydney food." these are lovely light-with-a-bite little cookies that would be wonderful with an iced coffee on a sunny afternoon or a warm cuppa when it's a little gray.
wattle seed shortbread, adapted from a bill granger recipe
40g (1/3 c) icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
250g (9 oz) unsalted butter, softened
60 g (1/2 c) rice flour
185g (1 1/2 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp wattle seeds
pinch of salt
beat the sugar and butter together until just combined. in another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (except the wattle seeds), add the wattle seeds, then mix into the butter and sugar mix until a dough forms. mold into a log 6cm or 2 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in cling film and refrigerate at least half an hour.
preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F). cut the log into thin slices, placed on a greased or lined baking sheet and bake for 15-8 minutes, until golden brown. cool on a wire rack.
top tip: save all the wrappers/papers your butter comes wrapped in in a resealable bag in your fridge or freezer. when you need to grease a pan, pull one of these babies out--there's usually enough butter left to grease several pans, and the wrapper makes it easy and easy to clean up after!