Hazelnut Shortbread

Makes about 4 dozen.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely ground (about ¾ cup ground)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Place the butter and sugars in a bowl or mixer and mix, by hand or by machine, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and hazelnuts and continue mixing until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients. The batter will seem dry.

2. To form the cookies, make one large log and form it into a square column. Cover with waxed paper and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour and up to 2 weeks.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4. With the tip of a very sharp knife, slice off thin squares and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Place the oven and bake until the cookies are lightly browned, about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool baking sheets between batches. Do not undercook; these cookies must be completely crisp and toasted.

5. Cool cookies before storing in an airtight container.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)