2018 Update: I not only updated the photos for these hazelnut shortbread and overhauled the recipe – making it just a little simpler, and I think, tastier – I wrote new text. The old text was rather lame, written no doubt when I was low on inspiration and probably just wanted to get this post online! As a consequence, some of the comments below no longer make sense.
Hazelnuts mean the holidays to me. Around Christmas my dad would buy a big bag of Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts – still in their stone-hard jackets (a.k.a. shells) and pour them into a big bowl. We’d spend the next couple of weeks idly cracking them open with silver nutcrackers as we chatted in the kitchen or watched TV, teasing out the tender meat inside and feeling as if we’d earned our snack. By the beginning of January there were usually only a few shiny Brazil nuts left in the bowl. They had the toughest shells! The hazelnuts, however, were relatively easy to crack so they went quickly, plus their natural sweetness and distinctive flavor appealed to all of us.
I rarely eat nuts straight out of the shell anymore, though around November I notice bags of them in the grocery store. But I wanted to try something that featured hazelnuts and my feeling was that inherent sweetness would do very nicely in shortbread. Nut butter stands in for butter/oil and it enhances the rich flavor of the hazelnuts. This recipe has only six ingredients and comes together in a jiffy.
I can’t find unsweetened or otherwise unadulterated hazelnut butter, so I use Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter (almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans) instead, but feel free to use a vegan hazelnut butter. If it contains sugar, be sure to adjust the amount of sweetener you use to compensate. I use Trader Joe’s raw hazelnuts to make the hazelnut meal, but any brand of raw hazelnuts will work.
I’m a big fan of shortbread. If you are, too, you might like these recipes:
Oil-free Hazelnut Shortbread
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45
- Yield: 1 1x
Crunchy, rich plant-based shortbread is tailor-made for your next coffee break!
- 3/4 cup toasted hazelnut meal*
- 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup unsweetened hazelnut butter or other unsweetened nut butter**
- 1/3 cup oat milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the hazelnut meal, flour, baking powder and coconut sugar until combined. Add the nut butter and pulse again until a coarse meal is formed. With the processor running, pour in the oat milk until a sticky ball forms. The texture should be gooey, but not runny so add more hazelnut meal or flour if it’s too wet.
- Scrape the dough onto the baking sheet and pat into a square or rectangle that is just under a 1/2″ thick. Cut the dough into 12 squares.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pan and slice through the previously cut lines and gently separate the pieces. Continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack. The shortbread will crisp as it cools.
- *I made my own hazelnut meal by toasting 3/4 cup raw, whole hazelnuts in a 350-degree F oven for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally and watching carefully. I let the nuts cool, then placed them onto a clean kitchen towel to rub off as much of the skins as I could. Then I put the hazelnuts into a DRY high-speed blender and pulsed, stirring often, until a fine meal was achieved. You’ll have a little extra hazelnut meal that you can add to waffles, pancakes, cookies, or for sprinkling on top of your morning oatmeal.
- **I couldn’t find unsweetened hazelnut butter and was too lazy to make my own. In this recipe I’ve successfully used natural almond meal – and a nice unsweetened multi-nut butter spread (almonds, peanuts, cashews, Brazil and hazelnuts) from Trader Joe’s.
- Serving Size: 12
- Calories: 150
- Sugar: 9
- Sodium: 1
- Fat: 7
- Saturated Fat: 1
- Unsaturated Fat: 6
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 19
- Protein: 3
- Cholesterol: 0
So little fat for shortbread, yet still delicious! A culinary feat. The way I imagine making vegan shortbread would be with quite a hefty amount of “butter”, but yours actually looks healthy. Brava!
It’s not too guilt-inducing – which is great cuz I love shortbread, but always felt guilty about eating it.
Hazelnut shortbread may be my new favorite thing!
It certainly became mine for the duration of its existence :-).
I love shortbread & this version looks fabulous … gots to pin for later 🙂
Yay for Pins ;-)!
What am incredibly soft and tasty looking biscuit my friend 🙂
Choc Chip Uru
Yum yum yum and a great poem to start off!! Anyone that writes poems about food has a great soul!
I was kind of amazed that someone waxed eloquent about shortbread – but that’s the beauty of the internet.
Love this – Hazelnut Shortbread, and yes, I can just imagine how good that would be as crust for a sweet pizza too 🙂
I wouldn’t mind it drizzled in chocolate either ;-)!
Oh yes 🙂
I was wondering what you were going to replace the butter with and I must admit this looks marvellous. You need to hot-foot it over here and start flogging your delicious vegan alternative to all the tourists looking for shortie to take home from bonnie Scotland.
I don’t know, Lorna! Scotland and shortbread…it’s like America and apple pie – pretty much sacred territory!
This was sooo good. I think since I’ve had it in the combo act I’ll have to try the solo. I’ve got some lonely hazelnuts lingering in my pantry somewhere, and my S blade for the cuisinart finally arrived. Yay!
I don’t have a springform pan. Could I make it in a regular pan or baking dish?
I think a regular pan would work just fine!
That is some of the healthiest looking shortbread that I have ever seen…with Christmas coming up (traditional gluttonous indulgences allowed and excess shortbread to be downed with glee…) I need to make some and this recipe will allow me to eat some too! Cheers for making my Christmas more shortbready 🙂
Best part is – you just don’t miss the “butter!” It’s crumbly and crunchy and delicious!
and MINE Annie…don’t forget that bit ALL MINE! 😉
Oh true!! How could I forget :-)!!
Looks amazing my dear! I need to break out my bag of hazelnut meal and make these! I have been saving it for something special 🙂
I’m going to try to make this one grain-free and see how it goes! I love hazelnuts, and I think they’re underused here. Yum!
Cool! Let me know how it works out!
I never would have thought that vegan shortbread was possible. Do you think I could use almond meal instead, just because I have it handy?
Yum! looks damn amazing!
Your vegan hazelnut shortbread looks amazing, Annie! Just so wonderful! I would drizzle hot vegan chocolate all over it! Ooh yes!
These look awesome! My shortbread always crumbles so this is a very welcomed recipe! Must be that damned butter 😛
Would it be wrong to top this with chocolate-hazelnut butter and banana? That’s what I want to do!
Such a cute poem. 🙂 The shortbread looks highly yummy!
i love this crumbly goodness with limited oil.. i need some of these in my life soon
Yum Annie these look too good not to make! The hazelnut sounds amazing!
This would be a great gift for Christmas! Oh, how I love shortbread!
This looks lovely Annie. Thanks so very much for sharing it in time to add to the growing list of holiday baking.
Will we have time to bake it all…sigh…
These are the problems to have. 🙂
I love shortbread and hazelnut, I never would’ve thought to make hazelnut shortbread! Wow, amazing and wonderful. I can’t wait to try this.
Match made in heaven :-)!
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