These nutty, melt-in-your mouth Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are a treat for any tea, shower or holiday spread. Serve plain or with chocolate and more nuts. Recipe from An Italian In My Kitchen.
- Prep Time:25m
- Cook Time:12m
- Total Time:37m
- 1 1/4 cups softened butter (2 1/2 sticks)
- 1 1/3 cups icing/powdered sugar
- pinch salt (or 1/2 tsp if using unsalted butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup ground toasted hazelnuts (NOTE 1)
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or other chocolate for melting
- 1/2 cup ground toasted hazelnuts
- Heat oven to 325F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- MAKE DOUGH: With electric beaters (or wooden spoon), beat butter. Add icing sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Gradually add flour a bit at a time, beating in until well incorporated. Stir in ground hazelnuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
- FORM COOKIES: Use your hands to make small balls (36-44) with the dough (about 1-1 1/2 inches diameter) and place them on the lined cookie sheet. Use bottom of small glass to lightly flatten each ball to about 1/3 inch thick. Dip glass bottom in flour periodically to avoid glass sticking to dough. (Alternatively, use tines of fork to flatten in criss-cross pattern).
- BAKE: Bake for 10-13 minutes until bottom of cookies are light brown. Tops remain fairly pale. Cool on racks. Store cooled cookies in sealed container. They also freeze well.
- ADD CHOCOLATE/NUT TOPPING (OPTIONAL): If desired, melt chocolate chips in glass pyrex measuring cup or bowl in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. You will have to do this about 3 times. The last few pieces will melt on their own when you stir until creamy smooth. Use a knife to spread chocolate on half the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with ground hazelnuts. Instead of chocolate and nuts, you can dust cookies lightly with icing sugar.
- NOTE 1: TO MAKE YOUR OWN TOASTED GROUND HAZELNUTS: Heat oven to 350F. Place about 2 cups hazelnuts on lined baking pan. Roast for 10-15 minutes until fragrant. They will darken a shade. Don't let them burn. Let cool enough to handle. Over the pan, take a handful at a time and rub between two hands - skins will flake off. Alternatively, place in towel and rub together. Repeat with all hazelnuts. Don't worry if a bit of skin remains but try to get most off as skins can be bitter. Put in food processor and process until finely ground.