Brown sugar cinnamon shortbread
with chocolate and hazelnuts
This recipe was created for Foodstuffs for their 2019 calendar
These biscuits are so Moorish and make for perfect homemade gifts, especially good when coming into the holiday season. The biscuit itself is not too sweet, so it is perfectly balanced when dipped in chocolate, and the hazelnuts give a great texture and flavour too.
TIME | 20 minutes preparation | 1-hour chilling time | 15-20 minutes baking
MAKES | 20 biscuits
225g butter softened
1/2 cup, tightly packed, brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 1/4 cup flour
250g chocolate (I used 50%)
75g Pam’s hazelnuts
METHOD | Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale, then add the cinnamon and mix to combine. Sift over the flour and fold in, being careful not to overmix - I do this step by hand. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and gently knead together. Form the dough into an 18cm x 8cm rectangular shape (with rounded edges) or you can also roll into a cylinder for circular shaped biscuits. Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour (or up to a week). The reason for chilling the dough is that the butter will re-harden and this will help the biscuits keep their shape and also give it a lovely ‘short’ texture.
Before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 150°C. Note: this is much cooler than the normal baking temperature and this is to help keep the shape of the biscuit and also so they do not over brown, shortbread is typically quite pale. Line two trays (one for baking, one for decorating) with baking paper and set aside.
Once the dough has chilled, slice into ½ cm slices. Place on a baking tray with a space between them, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly coloured but not brown around the edges. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
While cooling, melt the chocolate (I used a double boiler method) and finely chop the hazelnuts. Once the biscuits are completely cooled, to ‘half dip’ the biscuits into chocolate - I used a small spatula to apply the chocolate, remove excess and help smooth off around the edges. Once ‘dipped’ in chocolate, place the biscuit on the lined tray and immediately sprinkle with hazelnuts. If you leave it too long, the chocolate will set and the hazelnuts will not stick. Repeat with remaining biscuits and store in an airtight container once done.