05 November 2010

Hazelnut Shortbread - Variation on a Classic Biscuit/Cookie







Shortbread is one of the British classics I grew up with. Goes perfectly with a cup of tea! Whatever flavorings one might add, the predominant flavor of good shortbread must be butter. And I do mean butter; margarine will not do. My grandmother (from England's Lake District) was particularly fond of hazelnuts, as am I; so I decided to change up my usual shortbread with some Bob's Red Mill finely ground hazelnut meal.

It was delicious, perfectly scrummy, and a subtle enough addition to not overpower the aroma of butter as they were baking. (I say "they" rather than "it" because I prefer to cut the shortbread into individual biscuits before baking.) When developing recipes, I always cut back on the sugar as much as possible. This barely sweet treat has less than 1/2 teaspoon sugar per biscuit (that's British English for "cookie").


06/20/16 Update: You might also like to try my Earl Grey Shortbread.



Hazelnut Shortbread


(Makes 25 biscuits/cookies)

1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 packed cup finely ground hazelnut meal
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 With electric mixer, cream butter well. Add sugar, vanilla extract and salt; continue creaming. Beat in hazelnut meal, then beat in flour. Scrape out onto piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, shape into disk, wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

2 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. On very lightly floured surface, roll or pat dough into 1/4-inch-thick 7 1/2-inch square. Cut into 25 1 1/2-inch squares. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes; edges will be just barely starting to brown.

28 comments:

Marc Frederic said...

I don't eat many cakes or biscuits, however I do like shortbread, it must be all that butter. I might just give this a recipe a go, will have to leave out the nuts though.

Jean, you've got me salivating!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Marc! Coming from you, that is quite a compliment!

Unknown said...

Oh these look so good, I bet they are so scrumptious! I wonder if you couldn't find hazelnut meal could you grind up your own hazelnuts??

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jenn. Yes, you could grind your own hazelnuts, pulsing rather than just running the food processor, taking care to not turn it into a paste, hazelnut "butter." Or just go online and order the meal from Bob's Red Mill, or maybe a local independent grocery or health food store would get it for you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds really inviting and yummy! Once when I was a kid, my friend and I decided to raid his Scotish grandmothers's homemade stash of shortbread. I think we must have eaten a dozen apiece!! What a belly ache...oh but was it worth it
Gary T.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Gary, thanks! Cute story. Sounds like something young boys would get up to!

Ami said...

I think I must make these - anything this buttery will surely be a winner. Must find hazelnuts or hazelnut meal . . .

and tea? sugar? milk/cream? lemon? is there an 'appropriate' accompaniment to tea (and what type of tea goes well with hazelnut scones?)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ami! I think any black tea, but especially Earl Grey or Darjeeling, goes well with hazelnut shortbread or hazelnut scones. Black tea with just a touch of milk, maybe 1/4 teaspoon of sugar.

Sully said...

Are you going to address the 'Frisco ban on Happy Meals, i.e. toy temptations? I'm thinking this is a chance to create an Unhappy Meal. You know, huge stuffed panda give-aways and the meal is broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Well, if I do, I won't be referring to the great city of San Francisco as "Frisco"--surely you know that's a hanging offense!

celia said...

Jean, your hazelnut shortbread sounds wonderful! It's 10pm at night, and I'd love a piece with a cup of tea right now. Must be good...must be good.. ;-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Celia. It was about 5am as I read your comment, and I was wishing I had a piece of hazelnut shortbread to go with my first cup of tea of the day. Maybe I'll whip some up (it's so easy) once I get my eyes open!

Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said...

Oh, I'm so glad I came over for dinner :) looks really good. I also wish I would live closer, so that you could send me the leftovers ;)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Anne! Don't you just love leftovers! Some things I make specifically for the leftovers!

plasterers bristol said...

yummy. This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing this.

Simon

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Simon.

Angie B. said...

My mom and I love shortbread; and really when I think of the quintessential accompaniment for tea, shortbread is the first thing that comes to mind. I will have to try these because I love hazelnut but have never had the two combined.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how it turned out for you. It really does go perfectly with tea.

Zaa said...

OMG ..How will I ever lose weight . ...My mother -in-law taught me how to bake shortbread, but we never added nuts ... so I’m quite intrigued...It simply a family favourite with tea...My mother is Scottish so she’ll be all over these delectable little yummies... I wish I could sit and try one right now ( Ha Ha)... How is your hand doing? Better I hope ... Sending healing prayer..have a Blessed week...Hugs

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Zaa. My hand is healing nicely, I'm happy to report. I hope you and your mother will try this shortbread and like it as much as we do!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I love a good shortbread cookie, Jean, and I'd love to try your hazelnut recipe. Thanks for sharing, as always.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kitty! Maybe you and your sweet sous chef can whip some up for a little tea party.

Louca por porcelana said...

They look delicious,Jean!I am hungry now!Hugs!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maristella, thank you!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

I've never had the pleasure of eating hazelnut shortbread but it sounds delicious! And yes, butter all the way!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sandi! It *is* true, isn't it, that everything is better with butter?!

April J Harris said...

I really love the idea of Hazelnut Shortbread, Jean. It would have such a lovely depth of flavour! Your biscuits look absolutely delicious. I think they would be perfect for afternoon tea. Sharing on Twitter and the H&S Facebook page. Thank you so much for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, April. I think I inherited my love of hazelnuts from my English grandmother. Just seems to go so perfectly with a nice cup of tea! Your Twitter and Facebook shares are greatly appreciated.

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