Hazelnut shortbread

Hazelnut shortbread

This fabulous recipe works every time. I learned it from the amazing chef Steven Doherty during my time at Cook School Scotland.


  • 1¼ Cups hazelnuts
  • 4 Cups plain flour
  • 2¼ sticks (20 oz.) butter, softened
  • ¾ Cup caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Your first job is to roast and peel the hazelnuts; don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Put the nuts onto a baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Roast until the skins of the nuts turn dark brown.
  3. Remove from the oven and pour into a clean tea towel. Close up the tea towel by gathering up the ends to make a little pouch. Next rub the nuts in the tea towel until all the skins have fallen off.
  4. Remove the nuts from the tea towel one at a time, leaving the skins behind.
  5. Now roughly chop the nuts.
  6. Separate the egg yolks. Then, in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with your hands. Steven Doherty insisted that you always use your hands. I have tried using a spoon and can confirm it’s better by hand.
  7. Now add the egg yolks and vanilla seeds and work into your butter mixture. By now you’ll have figured out why you need to separate the yolks before getting your hands into the mix.
  8. Finally add the flour and chopped nuts and bring together to form a smooth paste.
  9. Roll into sausage shapes and chill for about an hour in the fridge.
  10. When you are ready to bake the shortbread cut the logs into 3/8” slices then place onto a baking tray lined with butter and flour.
  11. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at to 350ºF.
  12. Once baked dust with a little caster sugar.

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