20 February 2009

Sablés aux noisettes/Hazelnut shortbread cookies

In Pike Place Market (Seattle) there is a French bakery, Le Panier, they make all sorts of delicious "patisseries", while there last week end we bought some hazelnut shortbread cookies and we liked them so much that I decided to recreate them at home. I used a recipe my brother gave me for lemon "sablés" (will be posted later) and changed it as follows...

Sablés aux noisettes
For 50 or 60 cookies, depending on the size and shape

200 gr unbleached all purpose flour
100 gr hazelnuts (whole)
100 gr confectioners sugar
200 gr butter at room temperature (like an ointment, very important, it shouldn't be too cold nor melted)
A few drops of vanilla extract

Gently toast the hazelnuts in a pan on medium heat to enhance their taste, then while they cool, in the bowl of a mixer (Kitchen aid) measure and sift the flour, add the sugar and the butter in small pieces, then add the vanilla (to taste).
Now the hazelnuts should be cooled enough to be grounded, not too much, as you want to have big chunks to bite in.
Add them to the bowl and using the paddle, blend all until you obtain a dough (like pastry dough), when it sticks all together stop and place on a sheet of plastic wrap and shape as you want (a round log or a long rectangular log). Put in the refrigerator for 30 mn to 1 hour until cold and solidified.
Take out and cut into thin or thick cookies and place them on a cookie tray covered with a silpat/parchment paper.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 F for 10 mn or a little longer if thicker cookies, they should not brown and will spread a little while baking and once they have cooled down they will harden.
Enjoy these treats with a cup of coffee or tea.

Tip: you can also freeze part of the log and have fresh cookies for these unexpected guests anytime

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