These crisp melt-in-the-mouth shortbreads are made with hazelnuts and a touch of spice. For a fancy version, dip one end in melted chocolate then sprinkle with finely chopped hazelnuts.
200 grams butter, very soft but not melted
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams hazelnuts, roasted and finely ground
1½ cups plain flour
¼ cup cornflour
1½ teaspoons each ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until very light and pale.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl then add to the butter mixture. Beat gently to combine but don’t mix into a solid ball.
Take large walnut-sized pieces and roll into balls. Place on a very lightly floured bench and roll each ball into approximately 7cm long logs about 1cm thick, tapping the ends to flatten.
Place on a large lined baking tray and bake for 14 minutes, turning the tray for even browning. Gently turn each shortbread over and cook for another 2–3 minutes until golden.
Leave on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
To serve: Dust with icing sugar. Makes about 30 biscuits
Cook’s tip: Almonds, pecans and macadamia nuts can all be used in place of the hazelnuts.