Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread Hearts
- 1 cup Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup hazelnuts (filberts) or slivered almonds
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 12 ounces candy melts or 12 ounces premium chocolate
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine powdered sugar and 3/4 cup (reserve 1/4 cup for decoration) hazelnuts in a food processor and mix until hazelnuts are ground nearly as fine as cornmeal. Set aside until cooled.
- Cream butter until smooth; add powdered sugar/hazelnut mixture and cream further. Add egg, vanilla and salt, mix until well combined - but not light and fluffy.
- Sift together flour and cocoa powder and add in one step to the creamed mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Place dough in between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Press dough to 1/4-inch-thick as evenly as possible. Chill in refrigerator until firm enough to roll (about 30 minutes).
- On a lightly floured surface (on parchment paper is best) roll dough slightly thinner than 1/4 inch as even as possible.
- Cut into heart shapes and place 1/2-inch apart on parchment or lightly buttered cookie sheets.
- Bake about 14-16 minutes until center feels firm and cookies have a fragrant smell. The cookies will become crisp/brittle when cooled. If necessary, they can always be baked more if removed from oven too soon.
- Place remaining hazelnuts in oven for 13 minutes. Once cooled, cut in pieces with a knife.
- Let cookies completely cool before melting chocolate.
- If working with candy melts, melt them according to the manufacturers directions and go to step 14. If working with chocolate, chop chocolate bars into small pieces and place 2/3 of it in a microwave-proof bowl. Set 1/3 of remaining chocolate aside.
- Select a saucepan which will nicely hold the above bowl. Fill saucepan with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn to very low simmer and place chocolate bowl on top. Stir constantly until chocolate is nearly melted and has reached 115°F.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to 112°F. Add remaining non-melted chocolate and stir until most of chocolate has melted.
- Dip one heart at a time and place on parchment paper, immediately sprinkle the dipped part with chopped hazelnuts.
- Keep cookies airtight.