Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

I don't care if you're married, single, in a relationship or not. Unless you live as a hermit, there's always someone (co-worker, mailman, teacher) whose Valentine's Day can be brightened by a gift of delicious and pretty heart-shaped cookies. Deliver a random act of kindness to someone with a batch of these rich and buttery cookies. What goes around, comes around, as the saying goes. 
They're even good just plain after they've cooled a bit.
But if you dip them in dark chocolate, they're even more delicious. Sprinkle a little more of the finely chopped hazelnuts on top. 
By the way, if you overwork the food processor trying to get the hazelnuts chopped very fine, they might clump together, so add a little flour to the bowl and "pulse" it rather than leave it on continuously.
For a really special someone, top with a bit of gold leaf. I bought mine online here.
Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee and share the goodness with a neighbor. 
Spread the love on Valentine's Day - or on an ordinary Tuesday.

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

printable recipe here

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (I used already peeled hazelnuts that I toasted lightly in the oven, but you can used hazelnuts with the skins if you want dark flecks in your cookies)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, plus 1 T.
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
10 ounces dark chocolate

Place the hazelnuts, sugar, flour and cornstarch in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter, vanilla and egg yolk and pulse until the mixture starts to bind together, scraping bowl at leaf once. Take the dough out of the food processor and knead it on a board a few times until it forms a mass. Chill it one or two hours, then let it rest for 10 minutes after taking it out of the refrigerator.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface and cut out the heart shapes with a cookie cutter.
Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake about 12-14 minutes until edges turn a pale golden color. Cool on a rack before decorating.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat and dip half of each cookie into the chocolate. Place on parchment paper then sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts (optional). For a special occasion: top with a small piece of gold leaf.
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Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A heavenly Valentine's Day treat!



Chiara Giglio said...

come sono teneri e dolci questi cuoricini, perfetti per la festa degli innamorati !

Frank Fariello said...

Sweets for the sweet... :-)

Proud Italian Cook said...

I'm in the mood to bake cookies after seeing this, a great combo, shortbread, hazelnuts and chocolate! mmmm

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

What a lovely idea!! It seems like we're never home at Valentines Day our I'd be cooking up a storm. Your recipe sounds wonderful for any time of year. Very special for perking up someone who is down. Grazie per la ricetta.

Claudia said...

Love the idea of baking these and giving them away as gifts.... if I don't eat all the gifts first! Hazelnuts and chocolate make me sing.

Marcellina In Cucina said...

Hi Linda! My apologies, I haven't dropped in for a while! But as always, very impressed...chocolate and hazelnuts are a perfect match!

AdriBarr said...

What beautiful cookies. I love shortbread, and when you add nuts, chocolate AND gold to the mix, I am in for certain. Gee, I wonder how these would do in the mail... hmmm, I'm just sayin"...

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

They look like delicious cookies, Linda! Anything with chocolate and nuts is right up my alley.

plasterer bristol said...

yummy. This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing this.