Picture this: buttery, tender shortbread cookies filled with bits of toasted hazelnut, plenty of cardamom, and lots of love. Cut into whatever shape your heart desires- maybe a moose or a Christmas tree or just pretty little circles- and dunked into melted milk and/or dark chocolate. Sprinkled with a pinch of chopped up hazelnuts and flaky salt, then wrapped up in tissue paper in a box and gifted to all the people you love most.
I truly hope you add yourself to the list of people you love most, because you’re going to want a box of these cookies in your life, too.
So, today, for the last day of my Homemade Holiday Gifts Week, we’re making the aforementioned buttery, hazelnut-studded, cardamom and vanilla perfumed, chocolate dipped cookies and feeling all the Christmas feels.
If you’re just tuning in to Homemade Holiday Gifts Week, we’ve already made Ginger, Garlic + Herb Infused Raw Honey, Dark Chocolate Truffles, Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix, Salted Peanut & Quinoa Brittle, Lemon & Rosemary Sea Salt, and Roasted Jalapeno Hot Sauce to add a little extra cheer into this Holiday Season.
Since there’s only 8 days until Christmas and everyone is feeling a little overwhelmed at this point, I’m not going to spend any more time talking about these glorious little cookies, in hopes that you’ll head to the kitchen and start baking!
If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out! Leave a comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram so I can see all your homemade gifts in action!
And stay tuned tomorrow for my Ultimate Round-Up of Homemade Gift Ideas, featuring over twenty recipes to keep your belly and your heart full this Christmas!
- 1 cup of whole, toasted hazelnuts*
- 8oz (1/2 cup) salted butter, at room temperature**
- 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup each of roughly chopped dark and milk chocolate, for dipping cookies
- 1. Finely chop the hazelnuts until they are in pieces no larger than the size of green peas. This can be done with a knife on a cutting board or by pulsing several times in a food processor.
- 2. Put butter, sugar, cardamom, and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (alternately- a bowl and sturdy wooden spoon will do the trick), and mix on medium speed just until the butter and sugar are mixed together. Add all remaining ingredients and mix on low, turning up the speed slowly to medium, until a dough forms.
- 3. For cookie cutter shapes: dump the dough onto a large piece of plastic or parchment paper, and press down into a large, 1-inch thick circle. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then remove from the fridge, dust with flour, and roll dough out into 1/4 inch thick circle and cut into preferred shapes. Re-roll the scraps, as needed, to cut out more cookies. Very gently transfer shapes to a cookie sheet (I used a small spatula to lift the small ones), and, for larger, more delicate shapes (such as moose), I recommend rolling the dough on parchment paper the size of your sheet pan, and removing the excess dough- not the shapes you cut- then just sliding the parchment onto the sheet pan. This way you never need to lift the delicate shapes and risk loosing a leg or an antler.
- 4. For slice-and-bake circles: scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic or parchment paper and form into a log. Roll up the paper/plastic, and chill for 30 minutes. Unwrap the log and slice into 1/4 inch thick circles.
- 5. For the fastest possible shortbread cookies: scoop dough directly onto a cookie sheet with a Tablespoon cookie scoop (line with parchment for easier clean-up, but not needed since the cookies won't stick), then gently press down each scoop of dough with the bottom of a glass to form a flat circle.
- 6. For any of the cookie shapes: preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake 8-10 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges and still tender in the middle. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
- 7. Once cookies have cooled, heat chocolate in two different bowls in the microwave in 20-second increments until melted, stirring once or twice in between. Dip cooled cookies halfway in chocolate, then place on a parchment-lined pan to harden. Alternately, cookies can be drizzled or completely submerged in chocolate (though you will need much more chocolate to cover them all!). Sprinkle with a few chopped up hazelnuts, if desired.
- This recipe will yield between 30 and 40 1-inch circles, or about a dozen larger cookie shapes, such as the moose cookies seen in the pictures.
- *I find the best price for (already toasted, mostly skin-less) hazelnuts at Trader Joe's. If you can only find raw/untoasted hazelnuts, spread them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350. Once cooled slightly, pick them up by the handful and rub between your palms to help remove some of the brown skin before finely chopping to use in this recipe.
- **Since shortbread is a butter-based cookie, it's important to choose the best tasting butter you can find! I love Kerrygold, but any organic and/or grass-fed butter should be great here!