These rich hazelnut shortbread cookies are great with a cup of coffee or a cup of hot cocoa!! They would also be great if you're having a cookie exchange party. We will be having one soon!
What you will need:
1 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted, divided*
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon double-strength vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
1 square unsweetened chocolate for baking, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper, allowing 1 inch to extend past the sides; set aside. Grate 3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts with a rotary grater or finely chop in a food processor. Place butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl, beat on medium speed of electric hand mixer until creamy. Gradually add flour and grated hazelnuts. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients begin to blend with butter mixture. Increase speed to medium=high and beat just until mixture forms into a dough.
Distribute dough over the bottom of prepared pan. Roll using a lightly floured rolling pin to create an even thickness. Bake 43-45 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove pan from oven to a cooling rack. Coll 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a cutting board and remove parchment and immediately cut warm shortbread lenghtwise into eight rows and crosswise into sixths to make 48 small rectangles using a very long knife. Spread rectangles apart slightly and cool completely.
Coarsely chop remaining hazelnuts using a food chopper and place in on a plate or tray. Place hazelnut spread and chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 60-70 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring after 1 minute. Dip one end of each shortbread rectangle into chocolate mixture and roll in nuts, coating all sides. Place on parchment-lined surface to set. If chocolate mixture begins to thicken, return to microwave 10-15 seconds or just until it thins but is not hot.
Store cooled, finished shortbread in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers for up to one week.
*To toast the hazelnuts, spread over a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for 8-16 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fragrant.