This cookie recipe combines the satisfyingly crumbly texture of a classic shortbread with all three of my favorite gelato flavors — cinnamon, hazelnut and chocolate. Who says you can’t have it all? This cookie is the perfect pairing for that afternoon coffee or steamed chai latte. And the secret to the shortbread’s crunchy texture is — you’ll never guess — Cream of Wheat.
The Cream of Wheat adds a lovely crunch to the dough, but you can substitute cornmeal or cornstarch for a similar crumbly texture. Not a fan of hazelnuts? Try toasted almonds or walnuts instead.
Cinnamon Shortbread with Chocolate Hazelnut Drizzle
Makes 12 to 14 cookies
2/3 cup whole hazelnuts
1¾ cups flour
½ cup Cream of Wheat (uncooked)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup chopped semisweet chocolate
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
When the oven is hot, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake them for 5 to 8 minutes or until fragrant. Wrap up the hot hazelnuts in a clean dish towel and rub them vigorously to flake off the skins. Finely chop the hazelnuts and set aside.
In a food processor (or in a large bowl with a fork), mix together the flour, Cream of Wheat, sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter and pulse to form a crumbly mixture.
Use your hands to bring the dough together, then press it into an 8-inch square baking pan. Press the dough down firmly to create an even surface, then prick it all over with a fork. Bake on the center rack for 30 to 40 minutes or until a very pale golden color on the edges. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler. Drizzle the shortbread with the melted chocolate and scatter the chopped hazelnuts over the top, finishing with a light sprinkling of sea salt. Cut the shortbread into fingers in the pan, then carefully remove them to let them finish cooling on a wire rack.
Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Registered dietitian and food writer Laura McLively is the author of “The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook.” Follow her at @myberkeleybowl and www.lauramclively.com.
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