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Ingredients:

Hazelnut Shortbreads:

1 cup (125 grams) raw and peeled hazelnuts

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (140 grams) light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract


Instructions:

Hazelnut Shortbreads: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

First, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Then chop coarsely.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar, on medium speed, until well combined. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and chopped hazelnuts, mixing only until incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and then roll each half between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until it is about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick. As you roll, periodically check the top and bottom sheets of parchment and smooth out any wrinkles. Then place dough on a baking sheet (along with the parchment paper) and chill in the refrigerator until firm (about 30 - 60 minutes). (For faster chilling, place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes).

Once chilled, remove from refrigerator and peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Using a 3 inch (7.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Place on the parchment lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Put the baking sheet, with the unbaked cookies, in the refrigerator, while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Meanwhile, gather up any scraps of leftover dough and re-roll. (You may need to refrigerate the dough again before cutting out the cookies.)

Bake the cookies for approximately 13 minutes or until the shortbreads are a deep golden brown color. This ensures a crisp and crumbly cookie. Remove cookies from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

The shortbreads can be stored at room temperature for about one week or they can be frozen.

Makes 30 cookies.


Description:

These Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are the perfect cookie to have with a cup of tea or coffee. They are buttery rich with the flavor of toasted hazelnuts, and have a wonderfully crisp and crumbly texture.

Shortbread Cookies are made with just a few good quality ingredients. For the butter, my preference is to use unsalted and I like to use the European style butter. This type of butter has a higher fat content which adds a buttery rich flavor to the shortbread. However, you can use regular unsalted butter. And, if you prefer, you can use salted butter, just leave out the salt in the recipe.

For the hazelnuts I have used raw peeled hazelnuts. I do like to toast the hazelnuts before adding them to the batter as this really brings out their wonderful flavor. Bake the hazelnuts until they are brown and you can smell the nuts. You can also use raw unpeeled hazelnuts. Bake them in the oven until you start to smell the hazelnuts and the skins are cracked and starting to peel away from the nut. Then remove them from the oven and place them on a wire rack. Immediately cover the nuts with a clean towel. Let the hazelnuts "steam" for about 10 minutes then rub the nuts in the towel to remove the skins.