13 December 2010

Italian Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread Cookies

I thought these cookies would make an interesting addition to our annual cookie exchange.  While the flavor was good, the presentation left much to be desired!  I found the dough incredibly dry which made slicing the cookies according to the directions very challenging.  I ended up cutting the cookies with cookie cutters, so I got much less than the expected 4 dozen.

Italian Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appétit

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Blend flour, brown sugar, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon espresso powder and salt in processor. Add butter and vanilla. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add nuts; blend until finely chopped. Transfer dough to floured work surface. Knead just until dough comes together.
Divide dough in half. Press each half into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer shortbread to rack; cool 2 minutes. Remove pan sides. Cut each shortbread round into 24 wedges. Cool completely.