The following recipe produces beautyful crumbly cookies. If you want to add extra vanilla scent, dip them in vanilla infused icing sugar. To prepare vanilla sugar, simply put used vanilla beans (after you've taken out the seeds) into a large jar full of icing sugar and leave to infuse.
- 125g whole hazelnuts
- 250g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 125g caster sugar
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla essence)
- 200g cold butter
- 3 egg yolks
- icing sugar
First prepare the hazelnuts by toasting them lightly at 150°C until they start to smell nice. You don't really want to colour them. Rub some of the skins off after they've cooled down. Grind the nuts in a food processor. Be careful not to overdo it as they will eventually release their oils and turn into something similar to butter. Little pieces of nuts are good in these cookies so don't worry if the result isn't fine and uniform.
Place the flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla seeds into the food processor and blitz to combine well. Add the butter cut into chunks and process briefly, until you can't see large pieces of butter. Add the egg yolk and blitz very quickly. Take the dough out of the processor and very gently and very quickly knead to form a ball of dough. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firmed a little.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan forced) and put icing sugar into a flat bottomed dish for coating the cookies.
Take a piece of the dough out of the fridge and roll into a thin sausage (about 1.5 cm) on a lightly floured surface. Cut into segments, and roll each, thinning the ends a little. Turn into crescent shapes and bake on trays lined with baking paper. They will only take about 5 - 8 minutes and burn very easily so make sure to watch them carefully. After you take them out of the oven, let them cool slightly to firm them up a bit. Put them very gently into the prepared bowl with icing sugar and coat each biscuit well while it's still warm.
Store in a breathable box in a cool room. Leave to rest at least a couple of days before eating.