Friday, December 08, 2006

Chocolate Espresso Hazelnut Shortbread

I though to improve on the already good recipe Chocolate Shortbread, and, as Emeril Lagasse is wont to say, "kick it up a notch". What better to add to the great taste of chocolate, than espresso and hazelnuts, the Trifecta of tastes. The elusive trifecta of tastes. I haven't got it quite right, but this is a good starting point. They're very tasty, and better than the original recipe.

Chocolate Espresso Hazelnut Shortbread
2-1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup cocoa, sifted
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp espresso powder
1 Tbsp boiling water
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300F/150C. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Grind hazelnuts with a small amount of sugar until finely ground. Do not overgrind.

Whisk flour, salt, ground hazelnuts and sifted cocoa together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Add tablespoon of boiling water to espresso powder in a small bowl; whisk to combine, then set aside.

Beat butter with icing sugar on high until creamy. Beat in milk, espresso and vanilla.

Gradually beat 1/2 of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in second half to form stiff dough (If dough is sticky, knead in small amounts of flour until no longer sticky).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly firm. Cool on sheet 5 minutes, before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

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