Yes, I call this variation on the barely sweet classic “a cookie for the grown-ups,” but children who have not grown accustomed to sugary treats will love it too. A traditional British biscuit (cookie) that goes well with a cup of tea, it also pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk.
Whatever other flavors one might add, the predominant flavor of good shortbread is butter. The tantalizing aroma of butter as the shortbread is baking is almost as enjoyable as the taste. With less than ½ teaspoon sugar per cookie, why not have two!
Makes 25 biscuits/cookies
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 packed cup finely ground hazelnut meal
1 packed cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1. With electric mixer, cream butter well. Add sugar, vanilla extract and salt; continue creaming. Beat in hazelnut meal, then beat in flour. Scrape out onto piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, shape into disk, wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On very lightly floured surface, roll or pat dough into a 1/4-inch-thick 7 1/2-inch square. Cut into 25 1 1/2-inch squares. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 16 to 18 minutes; edges will be just barely starting to brown.