Shortbread cookies are easy to make, infinitely adaptable, and one of my go-to baking projects. I’ve infused the buttery, crumbly treats with lavender and lemon verbena, filled them with fennel and coconut, and baked them with pistachio and semolina. My latest variation is packed with toasted hazelnuts, flavored with vanilla extract, and absolutely delicious dipped in dark chocolate.
Vanilla Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
2 cups all-purpose flour
Dark chocolate bar (around 70% cocoa content) for melting and dipping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. (Or bake in two batches using one baking sheet.)
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Stir in vanilla, salt, and hazelnuts until well combined. Add flour, stirring until just incorporated.
- Shape dough into a disc, and roll out until around 1/8-1/4 inch thick; if the dough is too sticky, refrigerate first. Shape with a 2-inch round cookie cutter, and place cookies on prepared baking tray.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, until edges turn golden brown. Let cool on tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Dip in melted dark chocolate, if desired, then set aside to let chocolate harden.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Yields around 33 cookies.