Caramelised White Chocolate and Hazelnut Shortbread

Caramelised White Chocolate and Hazelnut Shortbread

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Sweet, nutty, crumbly and crunchy. These caramelised white chocolate and hazelnut shortbread biscuits are a super quick, easy and delicious bake!

caramelised white chocolate and hazelnut shortbread biscuits on baking paper

Shortbread is one of my favourite biscuits to make. So simple, egg-free and it needs minimal chilling time. And this is my go-to shortbread dough, that is so adaptable to different flavour combinations. I think thats what I love most about shortbread, its just so versatile! This flavour combo is particularly good. Caramelised white chocolate is really having a moment this year. Its popping up everywhere and is becoming really easy to buy! But if you do want to make your own, I’ve got the instructions below! The sweet caramelly chocolate paired with crunchy savoury hazelnuts works so well – but I’ve got suggestions for other nuts to include below too!

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Unsalted butter – Shortbread relies so heavily on butter for its flavour, so try and use the best quality butter you can afford. It will make a world of difference. But make sure its at room temperature when you start baking!!
  • Caramelised white chocolate – White chocolate can be a sickly sweet treat, but caramelising it gives it the most delicious depth of flavour that will have you reaching for it over milk chocolate!
  • Hazelnuts – I love including nuts in savoury & sweet bakes, but with chocolate I think nuts work especially well. Hazelnuts and caramel are a classic combination, and pairing with the caramelised white chocolate is a salty sweet match made in heaven.
caramelised white chocolate and hazelnut shortbread biscuits on baking paper

How to make caramelised white chocolate and hazelnut shortbread

Shortbread only requires three ingredients – butter, sugar and flour. And then of course your delicious additions of caramelised white chocolate and hazelnuts! The simple nature of the shortbread is why having your butter at room temperature is really key. If you’ve forgotten and your butters still in the fridge, don’t panic. You can place it into the microwave and heat for 5/10 seconds to warm up – be very careful with this though as we don’t want melted butter! If you don’t have a microwave, chopping it up will help it warm up quicker rather than keeping it all in one big block!

Keeping the butter at room temperature will help to incorporate the sugar and flour well, giving you a more delicious and tender biscuit. The less you handle the shortbread dough the ‘shorter’ and crumblier your biscuits will be, which makes for the perfect shortbread biscuits!

Making the shortbread dough

The first step is to combine the butter and sugar together until you have a smooth paste. Then the flour can be mixed in. You’ll end up with a soft sugary dough, that’s ready for additions. In this case, this will be our caramelised white chocolate and hazelnuts.

If you’re happy buying your caramelised white chocolate – and honestly I think theres some great bars on the market now – then you can just chop up the bar! Personal favourites are the M&S Golden Blond Chocolate bar, Cadburys Caramilk and the fancy Callebaut Gold. If not, I’ve detailed the steps to make your own below!

The hazelnuts should be chopped roughly, and then you can mix them along with the chopped chocolate into the dough. And voila! Once the dough is rolled out and biscuit shapes cut out, they need to be chilled in the fridge for 20 minutes until firm. This helps them to keep their shape in the oven. And then they can be baked until golden brown! So so easy and QUICK!

shortbread dough in bowl
chocolate nut shortbread dough rolled out onto worktop
shortbread biscuits cut out from dough

How to caramelise white chocolate

Caramelising white chocolate can be done in the oven or microwave, and is simply heating the chocolate in increments so the sugars caramelise, creating a rich caramel with cocoa butter undertones. For this to work well you should use a high-quality chocolate bar that has at least 29%-32% cocoa solids, otherwise the chocolate might dry out too much and not melt as evenly.

The key point you want to remember is that the chocolate should be mixed thoroughly between each heating period, so it’s back to a liquid state before you heat it again. This will help the chocolate to caramelise evenly and help prevent it from catching.

The chocolate should be heated in the oven for 10 minutes, stirred and then heated again etc. for about 30-60 minutes until the chocolate is a gorgeous golden brown colour and smells caramelly. In the microwave you can do this in 30-45second increments, and spend up to about 10 minutes.

For a much more thorough look at how to caramelise white chocolate, check out my recipe for Caramelised White Chocolate Cupcakes where I go through the whole method in detail.

caramelised white chocolate melted in bowl

Decorating the shortbread biscuits

Once the biscuits are completely cool, you can begin the decorating! This is so simple but looks so fancy and means extra chocolate and nuts on your biscuit!!

All you need to do is melt some caramelised white chocolate either in the microwave or over a bain-marie and dip a biscuit in; submerging half the biscuit so you get a pretty effect. Then sprinkle over chopped hazelnuts and leave to set! Simple but effective decorating is all you need for these biscuits.

dipped shortbread biscuits

Tips & Tricks

I’m allergic to hazelnuts – can I swap it for something else?

Yes! The best swap for hazelnuts is macadamia nuts, but almonds, pecans or walnuts would work well too!

Can I make these shortbread biscuits in advance?

These biscuits last really well in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. I wouldn’t however recommend freezing the dough or the baked biscuits, as they taste best freshly baked.

I don’t like white chocolate. Can I use something else?

Hear me out. White chocolate can be so sweet and synthetic tasting. Caramelised white chocolate is not that! It’s got such a gorgeous caramelly depth of flavour which means it isn’t sickly sweet! So give it a try 🙂

half eaten shortbread biscuit on baking paper

These caramelised white chocolate and hazelnut shortbread biscuits are crumbly, moist and tender – everything shortbread should be! AND they’re packed full of delicious creamy caramelised white chocolate and crunchy savoury hazelnuts. They’re really quick and so easy to make. The perfect weekend bake!

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caramelised white chocolate and hazelnut shortbread biscuits on baking paper

Caramelised White Chocolate and Hazelnut Shortbread

Aimee Field
Sweet, nutty, crumbly and crunchy. These caramelised white chocolate and hazelnut shortbread biscuits are a super quick, easy and delicious bake!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Biscuits
Cuisine British
Servings 9 biscuits

Ingredients
  

Shortbread

  • 125 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 55 g caster sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 100 g caramelised white chocolate
  • 40 g toasted hazelnuts

Decoration

  • 100 g caramelised white chocolate
  • 25 g toasted hazelnuts finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • For the shortbread: Preheat oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 5 and line a large baking tray with baking paper. In a large bowl, using a spatula or wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar together until a smooth paste. Then mix in the flour until a soft dough begins to form. Finally roughly chop the chocolate and hazelnuts and mix into the dough.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out until roughly 1cm thick. Using a circle cookie cutter, cut out 9 biscuits and place onto the prepared baking tray leaving space around each. Sprinkle each biscuit generously with caster sugar, then place into the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Place the baking tray onto a wire rack and leave the biscuits to cool completely.
  • To decorate: Melt the remaining chocolate either in a microwave in 30-second increments, or using a bain-marie. Then dip the cooled biscuits into the melted chocolate, covering half of each biscuit. Place the biscuit onto baking paper to set, and sprinkle each with the finely chopped hazelnuts.
Keyword caramelised white chocolate, hazelnut, shortbread


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