“H” is for Hazelnut Shortbread (Chocolate Dipped!)

Did you know that the hazelnut (also called the filbert) is Oregon’s state nut? It’s true! In fact, Oregon grows 99% of the commercial hazelnut crop produced in the US. Impressive, huh? Hazelnuts are at the top of my “Most Favorite Nuts” list, especially when they are freshly roasted. I figured since I love hazelnuts, cookies, and chocolate I should feature a recipe that uses all three ingredients in my post today. Sound good? Good!

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies (Chocolate Dipped)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks)
1/2 cup pulverized unrefined sugar (I dumped a bunch of evaporated cane juice in my spice grinder and pulverized it until it was a fine powder)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
scant 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup finely chopped, roasted hazelnuts
3 ounces dark chocolate, preferably organic, melted (for dipping cookies)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream non-dairy butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Sift flours into the same bowl and stir well to combine.
3. Add in chopped hazelnuts and stir to evenly incorporate.
4. Roll dough into a log approximately 8″ long by 1 1/2″ in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
6. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice into 1/2″ rounds. Place rounds on prepared cookie sheet and prick with a fork. You can make your cookies thicker or thinner – make sure to adjust your baking time though. Cookies will spread a little as they bake.
7. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cookies will crisp up as they cool.
8. If desired, dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate. You could even sprinkle additional chopped hazelnuts on the chocolate if you are crazy for nuts! Place dipped cookies in the freezer to set the chocolate.

Enjoy with a cold glass of non-dairy milk and you’re good to go!