Portion/Yield:Makes about 50 biscuits
These hazelnut biscuits are quick and easy to make. I like to dunk my biscuits in a mug of coffee or tea, whereas Mr P simply nibbles away at them. For a tasty variation, add white or dark chocolate chips to the recipe or replace the hazelnuts with dried cranberries for an appealing flavour twist. Adjust the cooking time if you are making the biscuits larger or smaller than mine, and if you like them really crispy, bake them for an extra 2–4 minutes.
Ingredients & Method
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g soft light brown sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out (or use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 large egg
- 350g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 200g hazelnuts, lightly crushed
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper (or use non-stick baking sheets).
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy (use an electric stand mixer if you want to save a bit of elbow grease!). If you are using vanilla seeds, then cream them with the butter and sugar; if you are using vanilla extract, add it with the egg. Add the egg and beat until creamy. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda over the creamed mixture, add the hazelnuts, then mix in gently to combine, but do not overwork the dough.
Using a teaspoon as a measuring guide, divide and roll the dough into even-sized balls. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets (you’ll need to do this in 2–3 batches), leaving at least a 5cm gap between each one to allow the biscuits to spread and bake evenly (in the winter, I also press the balls down slightly as the dough will be cold and stiff and this will encourage them to spread evenly). Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Shape, bake and cool the remaining biscuits in the same way.
Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to a week.
Add 200g milk or white chocolate chips to the biscuit dough and reduce the hazelnuts to 50g. Alternatively, replace the hazelnuts with 200g dried cranberries and add the finely grated zest of 1 orange for a tasty twist.