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Monday, Nov. 12, 2012

Hazelnut and Browned Butter Shortbread

Shortbread reminds me of Christmas season.  I am being reasonable, right?  I mean, it’s almost a month away....almost.  I figured I should start busting out some Christmas recipes before it sneaks up on me!  And, with the addition of snow, it feels just right.  I can’t wait to start going cross-country skiing (my absolute favourite winter activity).  Hopefully today! 

This shortbread is completely different than any shortbread I’ve ever had.  I love chocolate and hazelnuts so I knew immediately that I would love this.  Gavin, on the other hand, prefers the old-fashioned shortbread.  The toasted hazelnuts and browned butter added more depth and flavour-in my opinion, anyway.  In addition, the shortbread dipped with chocolate is not as overpowering as I initially thought and felt the fleur de sel complimented it nicely.  I loved how all the flavours worked together....and it’s all mine! :)

I cozied up on the couch yesterday and watched a movie while dipping my shortbread into hot chocolate-how relaxing!  Life is goodJ 


Hazelnut and Browned Butter Shortbread
Makes 24 (1-wedge servings)

1 cup butter, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted (or pecans)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ teaspoon shortening
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt ¼ cup of the butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, without stirring, for approximately 5 minutes or until butter is brown and fragrant. Cool slightly.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the remaining ¾ cup butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Mix until well-combined, scraping the sides of bowl to ensure full incorporation of the ingredients. Beat in browned butter and vanilla until combined. Mix in flour just until combined. Stir in the hazelnuts and divide the dough in half.

On the prepared cookie sheets, pat down each portion of the dough into an 8 inch circle. Using your fingers or a fork, crimp edges of dough. Prick every inch or so with a fork. Cut each circle into 12 wedges, leave wedges in circle.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until edges are golden, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes then re-cut the wedges. Cook on cookie sheets for 3 minutes more before transferring wedges to wire racks and cool completely.

In a small saucepan melt the chocolate and shortening over low heat until. Carefully dip the outside edge of each wedge into the melted chocolate, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off. (Use caution-the cookies are soft and may break). Return to wire racks and sprinkle chocolate with fleur de sel if desired. Let stand for 1 hour or until chocolate is set.

Store in an airtight container with wax paper sheets separating the layers at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking

1 comment:

  1. Yummmmm! I adore shortbread! I'll have to try this version this holiday season. Chocolate, hazelnuts and brown butter would make it extra special. I think I'll make these for my grandpa. He'd love this.



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