2012 Holiday Collection: Hazelnut Shortbread

Hazelnuts and chocolate are a perfect combination, so it is no surprise that hazelnut shortbread dipped in chocolate and hazelnuts is absolutely wonderful! Toasting hazelnuts for 5 to 7 minutes brings out their full flavor.  This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2004.

Hazelnut Shortbread
Makes 36 to 40 cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup finely ground toasted hazelnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces high-quality milk or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Shape 1 1/2  teaspoon of dough into 3/4-inch-long logs. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until light golden brown around edges, about 15-18 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool cookies completely.

Stir chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Place 1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts in small bowl. Dip 1 end of cookie into melted chocolate, then into coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Return to rack. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.