Week 69: Hazelnut shortbread

I am always strangely reluctant to bake cookies, but each time I do, I wondered why I did not do it sooner. This batch of cookie dough was left over from my yule log cake base and it is delicious! I guess, with all that butter and hazelnut, how can anything not be.

Makes approximately 24 cookies

INGREDIENT

70g raw hazelnuts

80g light brown sugar

130g all purpose flour

12g cornstarch (corn flour)

½ teaspoon salt

113g unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ tsp pure vanilla extract

DIRECTION

1) Preheat oven to 180C. Place rack in center of oven. Line your baking tray with parchment paper.

2) Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until brown and fragrant and the skins start to peel. Remove from oven, place the warm hazelnuts in a clean dish towel, roll it up, and let the nuts steam for 5 minutes. Briskly rub the nuts to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool.

3) Place the hazelnuts and 15g of the brown sugar in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped.

4) In a small bowl combine the flour, cornstarch and salt.

5) In bowl of electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat and butter and remaining brown sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in the nut mixture.

6) Roll out the shortbread dough. I did it by sandwiching it between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Then cut out the desired shapes and place it on the prepared baking tray.

7) Freeze the shaped dough on the baking tray for at least an hour then place in preheated oven and bake until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. If the shape of the cookie has melted, you can re-cut the cookies while it is still hot. Transfer shortbread to a wire rack and let cool completely.

If I bake these again, I would probably add a bit more salt as I believe it will greatly help to bring out the nuttiness of the cookies.

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