For the hazelnut shortbread
- 500g plain flour, plus a little for dusting
- 350g butter, cut into cubes
- 150g caster sugar
- 100g roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- 10 drops Natural Hazelnut Flavour
- A little icing sugar, for dusting
- 250g Renshaw White Ready to Roll Icing
- Metallic Light Silver Edible Silk
For the royal icing
- 1 egg white
- 150g icing sugar, sieved
- ¼ tsp glycerine
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and line two large baking trays with Lakeland Magic Non-Stick Liner.
- Prepare the shortbread by sieving the flour into a large bowl then rubbing in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the caster sugar, chopped hazelnuts and hazelnut flavour. Stir, then knead to a smooth dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough to around 1cm thick. Cut out 8 circles with the plain side of an 8cm cookie cutter and place on a baking tray. Roll out the remaining dough and cut out 8 circles with the plain side of a 6cm cutter and 8 with the plain side of a 5cm cutter, then place on the second baking tray. Place both trays in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the shortbread is lightly golden. Allow to cool on the trays before transferring to a wire rack.
- On a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the icing to around 3mm thick. Cut out a selection of snowflakes with the snowflake cutters. Firstly, cut the snowflake without pressing the plunger. Then, using the plunger, press the snowflake onto a flat surface to emboss and finally press the plunger again to release the snowflake. Make approximately 8 large snowflakes, 12 medium and 16 small. Leave to dry for about 30 minutes then sprinkle lightly with edible silk.
- Meanwhile, make the royal icing by lightly whisking the egg white in a clean bowl. Stir in the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the icing drops thickly from the spoon. Whisk with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until the icing forms stiff peaks then stir in the glycerine.
- To assemble each stack, layer 2 large, 2 medium and 2 small shortbreads, sticking the cookies together with a dab of royal icing. Place the remaining icing in a piping bag and snip off the end. Attach the snowflakes with royal icing so that they flow around the stacks. Leave to set before placing the stacks into gift bags or boxes.