Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hazelnut Shortbread

This is a yummy shortbread, which turns out a little chewy from the oats. If you want a classic crisp shortbread, grind the nuts and oats in a food processor. You can substitute other nuts, but the hazelnuts give it a marvelous flavor.


1/4 cup whole, shelled hazelnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/16 tsp. salt (couple of pinches)

Preheat oven to 325 deg. F.

Spread hazelnuts in a skillet, and heat on med-low until lightly toasted. Place nuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. If the skins don’t come off, give them more heating time in the skillet. While removing the hazelnut skins, lightly toast the oats in the skillet.

Chop the nuts finely, and combine with the oats.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Beat in the hazelnut mixture and vanilla. Blend in flour, cornstarch, and salt. Turn out onto a floured board and knead briefly until smooth.

Brush an 8” stoneware shortbread pan (or cake pan with removable base) with a light coating of vegetable oil. Press the dough into the pan firmly. Prick the entire surface with a fork, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 10 minutes.

Loosen the edges of the shortbread with a knife, and flip the shortbread pan over to turn out—you might have to tap one edge of the pan to help it come out. (Or remove sidewall from cake pan and slide shortbread off the base.)

Cut while still warm. Serves 8.

Adapted from a recipe in Mary Engelbreit’s book, “Christmas with Mary Engelbreit, vol.1."

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