Hazelnut and Blueberry Shortbreads

Shortbreads are very much a holiday staple here at Sweettablescapes but their velvety crunch and often nut-based dough is something we enjoy year round; so when this recipe caught our eye in Cuisine et Vins de France Jan/Feb 2021 issue, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we tried it. Well…it is now autumn and we are just getting around to it but hazelnuts are everywhere this time of year and we think this is a perfectly seasonal treat. The nutty crunch and the blueberry jam sweetness of these thumprint-style cookies is simply decadent and they look very pretty too!!

You’ll need:

  • 135 g salted butter at room temperature
  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g finally ground hazelnuts
  • 80 g powdered sugar
  • 50 g pralin (recipe below)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • blueberry jam

Directions:

  1. Open vanilla bean and scrape seeds. Mix all dry ingredients: flour, ground hazelnut, vanilla seeds, pralin and powdered sugar.
Already made pralin is readily available in French supermarkets but you can make your own easily and it keeps well. See the recipe below.
  1. Add softened butter with your fingers and mix well. Add the egg and mix until you have a smooth dough.
  1. Shape two dough rolls and cover them in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Slice dough into 1/2-inch slices and place on a parlement paper sheet over baking sheet. Create a small crater in the center of each cookie and place 1/2 tsp blueberry jam into the crater. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy!!

I challenge you to only eat one of these!!

Take the time to make your own pralin to add to this recipe; it gives an extra crunch with a nutty caramel flavor that you will not want to forgo!! Here is an easy pralin recipe from Cuisine Journal des femmes

You’ll need;

  • 50 g whole almonds
  • 50 g whole hazelnuts
  • 100 g sugar

Directions:

  1. In a small pan over medium heat, place almonds, hazelnuts and sugar. Mix constantly.
  2. Nuts must be evenly covered in caramel. Make sure not to over cook your caramel as it will become bitter. When nuts are evenly covered in an amber caramel, pour mixture over parchment paper placed on a cookie sheet and let cool 5 to 7 minutes. You can then break mixture into big pieces.
  3. Finally, place these big pieces into an electric mixer and chop until you have a coarse mixture (if you reach the powder stage, you then have some praliné.)
  4. Pralin keeps very well in an airtight jar for several weeks.

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