Giving the Fingers


It’s a good thing the freezer has posted a no vacancy sign on its door, otherwise I’d bake endless batches of these hazelnut shortbread fingers.
They go really well with curd (a great combo I’ve learned about thanks to Joni), and what a coincidence: I posted a recipe for that a couple of weeks ago.
Speaking of which, Kelly has made the curd using the refrigerated kind of coconut milk instead of water, and said it was a great, even creamier variation.

If you don’t want to make the shortbread with hazelnuts, try cashews or almonds. Use those that are unsalted and raw.
Also, if you’re still BFF with agave (I am), you can use it in place of the maple syrup.

Hazelnut Shortbread Fingers:

1/2 cup (60 g) raw shelled hazelnuts, not skinned
1 1/2 cups (180 g) whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (56 g) semi-solid coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C or gas mark 3). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Combine hazelnuts, flour and salt in a food processor. Process until the hazelnuts are ground finely. Add the maple syrup and oil, pulsing to combine. The dough should be kneadable and not crumbly.
Place the dough on the prepared sheet, knead it for a couple of beats just to make sure it is cohesive, and press it down with your hands to form an 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10-cm) rectangle. Note that you could make the fingers smaller, just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.
Cut the rectangle into eight 1-inch (2.5-cm) wide, 4-inch (10-cm) long fingers. Use the tines of a fork to prick the tops of the shortbread.
Arrange the fingers on the sheet so that there’s about 1 inch (2.5 cm) between them.
Bake 20 to 24 minutes, or until the fingers are light golden brown around the edges, and at the bottom. Your nose will more or less tell you when they’re just about ready to come out of the oven, so pay attention.
Carefully place them on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Yield: 8 fingers