Holiday Shortbread for Lazy Bakers

Does the thought of Christmas baking put you squarely in one of these categories?

  1. You start collecting holiday recipes in June, and dream of red and green sprinkles in July.
  2. You would rather clean out your basement than attend a Christmas bake exchange.
  3. You have a local “go-to” bakery for their qualified help.

PatisserieNutmeg loves holiday traditions and baking.

However, she needs a three year baking break to gear up for the effort required to make her grandmother’s perfect vanilla-sugar-dusted almond crescent cookies, and Hungarian Christmas cake with toasted walnut filling.

This Chocolate Espresso Hazelnut Shortbread is an easy recipe for the busy holiday season or serve it to some hungry bike riders in July.  Nutmeg did just that, and there were no leftovers.

Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread

Chocolate Espresso Hazelnut Shortbread
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen pieces
This recipe is originally from the kitchen of Dinner with Julie (@dinnerwithjulie). Thank you Julie – it will be in Nutmeg’s holiday baking file for a long time to come. NOTE: If your hazelnuts are whole, coarsely chop them in the food processor first, then transfer them to a bowl and blend the rest, adding them back in at the end.
  • 1½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant Espresso or coffee (or finely ground espresso beans)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ Cup Hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, espresso and salt
  3. Add butter and vanilla and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal
  4. Add nuts; blend until finely chopped
  5. Transfer dough to floured work surface
  6. Knead just until dough comes together
  7. Divide dough in half and press each into a 9” round cake pan, or 8”x8” square pan
  8. If you like, press around the edge with the tines of a fork
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set
  10. Cool on a wire rack, then cut each shortbread into wedges or squares

Do you love or dread holiday baking?
What is your easy no-fail recipe?

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