I made somewhat traditional shortbread cookies over the holidays that went over very well. They were actually more like Mexican Wedding Cakes as they included a generous amount of ground nuts. The thing that made the cookies extra special was the large proportion of walnuts, the sweet cultured butter (butter made from fermented cream - popular in Europe), and the exquisite Mexican vanilla. The texture of these was beautiful as well: they literally melted-in-your-mouth.
Well, not exactly. These have a lot of butter, sugar, and refined wheat flour - though I'm sure they would taste great made with a fine whole spelt or wheat flour - or even possibly a gluten-free flour mix...
Cultured butter may be healthier than regular butter since it has lactic acid bacteria (from the fermentation), and almost no lactose. Cultured butter is also slightly higher in fat. I love the flavour of this type of "sweet" butter :-)
Walnuts are definitely healthy: very high in omega-3 fatty acids, high in Magnesium, and they help lower "bad" cholesterol.
Recipe: Walnut Shortbread Cookies