Hullo, my Pixels!
These shortcakes definitely don't look that exciting, but wow are they tasty. They require next-to-no effort to make, as the standard recipe only includes five ingredients, although I'm pretty sure a pinch of salt barely counts as a separate ingredient. This recipe also makes 18 biscuits, but it's extremely easy to alter to the amount you would like to make, whether that's more or less.
- 175g blanched hazelnuts
- 175g unsalted butter, not too cold
- 115g caster sugar
- 225g plain white flour
- A pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Collect and measure out all of your ingredients required so they're ready for later.
2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray (watch out, they roll around a lot) and cook them in the oven for 5 - 8 minutes, until the nuts are lightly brown.
3. Remove the nuts from the oven and leave on the side or in the fridge to completely cool.
4. Chop up the hazelnuts with a large knife or in a food processor. Aim for a coarse breadcrumb texture - if the nuts are too big it'll be difficult to roll out the dough thinly enough later on. This is when my cousin and I decided to add some pistachio nuts into the mix. One, because we didn't actually have enough hazelnuts to begin with, and two because we thought pistachios would give a bit of a stronger flavour, as well as adding some color.
5. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat together until soft and blended - but it shouldn't be too whipped or creamy. Afterwards, add the plain flour and salt, then mix well.
6. Add the mixed chopped nuts into the large mixing bowl and mix together long enough to form a soft dough.
7. Collect the dough together into a ball and get ready to roll! Make sure you flour your board and rolling pin extremely well though; the dough sticks a lot to begin with. Then, commence with the rolling! Rolling the dough into a sausage-like shape makes it easier to roll out once chilled. Wrap the dough sausage in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
8. Once the dough has chilled for long enough in the fridge, quickly roll it out to about 5mm in thickness. We kept half of the dough in the fridge to prevent it from getting too warm whilst rolling and cutting out the other half. Again, be very generous with the flour on the board and rolling pin - take that as a warning from sticky experience!
9. Now, this is where you can get really creative. Choose whichever shape cookie cutters you like to cut out the biscuits. My cousin and I decided on square and circle biscuits, then the circle ones had extra 'decoration' from the leftover dough. Place the biscuits on either a greased baking tray or line one with greaseproof paper and cook in the oven for about 8 - 10 minutes until just golden brown.
10. Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow them to cool on a surface or a wire rack to cool. They need to rest and fully cool before attempting to move them as they're fragile whilst warm. The yummy biscuits are finally cooked! They look very plain, but the nutty taste is amazing. I definitely recommend including a mix of different nuts for more flavor, instead of using 175g of just hazelnuts.
I had so much fun baking these with my cousin, and we're always waiting anxiously for whatever we're baking to be cool enough to eat! Let me know if you can think of anything different to mix into these biscuits to make them a bit more interesting.