Hazelnut Shortbread Wafers with Raspberries and Chocolate
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
11/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of whole hazelnuts, toasted and skinned, as described below
5 or 6 ounces of a good quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour and finely chopped hazelnuts (dough will seem grainy).
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 - to ¼ -inch thickness. Cut into rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter. Using a spatula, transfer the rounds to greased baking sheets.
Bake in the upper third of a 375-degree oven for about 9 minutes, just until the wafers begin to brown around the edges. Cool the wafers on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack (or cool completely on the baking sheet). When cool, place a ½ -inch dollop of jam in the center of each wafer. Spread the jam out to a diameter of about 1 inch.
Fill a resealable plastic bag with the melted chocolate, tilting the bag so that the chocolate flows to one corner. Cut a tiny tip from the chocolate-filled corner. Using the plastic bag like a pastry bag, invert the tip over the cookies and drizzle the chocolate in a lacy pattern on each cookie. The chocolate will firm up in about 10 minutes.
Makes about 40 cookies.
NOTE ON HAZELNUTS: To toast hazelnuts, place them on a jelly-roll pan and into a 350-degree oven just until they turn very pale golden brown and the outer, papery skins are beginning to crack and separate from the nut. Remove nuts from the oven and let cool. To skin hazelnuts, pour them into a large terry cloth towel; either fold the towel over or place another on top. Rub vigorously back and forth over the towel. This can be done several days ahead and the nuts stored in an airtight container.