I'm a massive sucker for hazelnuts, well I'm pretty keen on most nuts, but I do love hazelnuts the most. They have such a distinct flavour and to me they seem luxurious (probably partly due to the crazy price). But they also hold a nostalgic place in my heart.
When I was growing up my mum was a stereotypical domestic goddess and we regularly had fresh baking in the house. Hazelnuts featured highly in her creations. My mum is Swiss so it was quite common for her to use nuts in her baking, quite a change from the regular store-bought goodies that were available in New Zealand at the time. She used hazelnuts a lot in numerous cookie recipes (Totenbeinli being a fave), also on the base of her Linzertorte, and they were also the star in the filling of Nuss Gipfeli (a pastry which I have to remember to steal the recipe for because they are amaaazing). So even though today's recipe is not one of my mother's, it would not have been out of place in her European style of baking. I shall have to make them for her sometime and see if they get the seal of approval.
I wonder if other people have flavours or ingredients that hold some nostalgia?
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
1 and 1/4 cup plain flour
optional: white chocolate and dark chocolate (melt then pipe or drizzle on top of the cooled wedges, you could even dip the shortbread into the chocolate)
Preheat oven to 150 Celsius.
Grease a 21cm round flan tin with melted butter or oil. A regular cake tin works well too.
Beat the butter and sugar. Add the nuts, beat again.
Fold in the flour. Mix well until combined.
Press the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface.
Use a sharp knife, score the surface into 16 wedges.
Bake 35-40 minutes until pale golden.
Leave to cool for just a few minutes.
Carefully remove shortbread from tin, use sharp knife to cut into the scored wedges.
Leave the wedges to cool completely, then decorate as desired.
Makes 16 wedges