Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

These holiday-themed cookies, another recipe by our friend Brian Stafford, feature hazelnut meal and orange zest and are sure to add flavor and fun to your holidays!

Crisp morning air fills the Pacific Northwest woods. Settle in. Gather with family and friends and bake these hazelnut shortbread cookies for an evening of fun. Create stencils from card stock or use simple paper doilies to lay over your cookies while dusting with confectioner’s sugar. The warm spices, nuts and orange pair well for a soothing familiar flavor that comforts the soul.

Chef Brian Stafford

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ tsp Granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp Table salt
  • 2 ¼ cup All-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Laurel Foods roasted Oregon hazelnuts, ground very finely in a food processor (hazelnut meal)
  • 1 ½ T Loosely packed finely grated orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • ¾ tsp Cardamom
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Cold Water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed 1 to 2 minutes until the butter combines with the sugar but is not completely smooth.
  3. Add flour, ground Laurel Foods roasted Oregon hazelnuts, cardamom and zest; mix on low speed, scraping the bowl frequently. Add in vanilla extract and then cold water until the dough has just about pulled together, about 3 minutes; don’t overmix.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Aim for a uniform thickness to ensure even baking for this process.
  5. Cut the dough into your favorite shape using cookie cutters, or a sharp knife. Keep pressing the scraps together, rolling them out, and cutting out more cookies until all dough is used. If the dough becomes sticky while rolling and cutting, refrigerate briefly.
  6. Arrange the cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate at least 20 minutes until chilled.
  7. Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
  8. Bake cookies until golden on the bottom and edges and pale to golden on top, 30 minutes. (After 15 minutes, swap the position of the baking sheets and rotate them 180 degrees for even baking).
  9. Allow cookies to cool when finished before dusting them with confectioners’ sugar. I find that a fine mesh strainer works best for dusting patterns or stencils. Have fun and play with your food.

Makes about 3 dozen 2” cookies