Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180
degrees C). Place rack in center of oven. Lightly butter (or spray with a
non stick vegetable spray)
two - 8 or 9 -inch (20 or 23 cm) tart pans with removable bottoms.
Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and
bake for approximately 15 minutes or until brown and fragrant and the skins
peel. Remove from oven, place the warm hazelnuts in a clean dish towel, roll it
up, and let
the nuts 'steam' for 5 minutes. Briskly rub the
nuts to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool.
hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of the brown sugar in a food processor
and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped.
In a small bowl
combine the flour, cornstarch (rice flour) and salt.
In bowl of electric mixer,
or with a hand mixer, beat the butter
and remaining brown sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat
until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in the nut mixture.
Divide the dough in half. Press each half evenly into the prepared tart pan. Using a sharp knife,
score (make shallow lines) each pan of shortbread into 16 even pieces. Place in
preheated oven and bake until deep golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer
shortbread to a wire rack and cool for five minutes before removing from tart pan. Place
the shortbread rounds on a cutting board and cut each shortbread round into 16
wedges (along the lines scored). Cool completely on a wire rack.
While the shortbread
cools make the chocolate glaze. In a stainless steel bowl, placed over a
saucepan of simmering water, melt
the chocolate and shortening. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and completely
melted. Remove from heat. Either dip each wedge of shortbread into
the chocolate or alternatively put the chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with a small tip or a paper cone
and pipe chocolate in a decorative pattern. Let stand until chocolate
sets. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Makes 32 cookies