Hazelnut–orange shortbread

Hazelnut–orange shortbread

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Makes
24
Photographer
Mark Roper

Tiny melt-in-your-mouth biscuits are popular throughout the Middle East. Some are made with rice or chickpea flour, some with wheat flour, while others incorporate finely ground nuts, but all use a high ratio of butter or ghee to give that crisp, melting ‘shortness’. Iranian versions are usually flavoured with cardamom, but for a change we think hazelnut and orange work beautifully together. Perfect with a cup of tea at any time.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80g icing sugar
110g clarified butter or ghee
100g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
45g self-raising flour, sifted
50g roasted hazelnuts, finely ground
1 orange, grated zest
2 teaspoons grated orange zest, dried in a cool oven

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Mix the icing sugar with the clarified butter thoroughly. Fold in all the remaining ingredients, except for the dried orange zest. Take care not to overwork the mixture. The dough will be very soft, but if it feels too wet add a little more flour. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or so to firm the dough.
  3. Tip the dough onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with plain flour. Roll it out evenly and gently to a thickness of 3–4 mm. Use a sharp knife to cut out three rounds 12 cm in diameter. With the back of a knife, mark each round into eight wedges. Sprinkle the edges of each round with the dried orange peel, pressing it in gently and evenly.
  4. Lift the rounds onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the biscuits are just starting to colour and feel a bit firm to the touch. Cool on the tray for a few minutes, then carefully lift onto a wire rack and leave until completely cold. They will keep in an airtight container for a week.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
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