- 40 gm soft, unsalted butter
- 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 100 gm (2/3 cup) plain flour
- 50 gm hazelnut meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75 gm (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 30 gm hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
- 240 gm (1½ cups) pure icing sugar, sieved
- 30 ml espresso coffee
- 30 ml hazelnut liqueur
- 15 gm butter
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1For hazelnut praline, combine sugar and ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, brush down edges of pan using a pastry brush dipped in water, and cook until dark caramel in colour (4-5 minutes), remove from heat and stir in hazelnuts. Pour onto a lightly oiled oven tray, cool completely, then coarsely chop and set aside.
- 2Preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add vanilla and egg and beat until smooth. Stir in milk, hazelnut meal and baking powder and mix until smooth. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm-diameter nozzle and pipe 1.5cm-diameter rounds onto baking paper-lined oven trays. Bake until golden (12-15 minutes), cool for 2 minutes.
- 3Meanwhile, for espresso icing, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until smooth and just warm. Add four biscuits at a time to icing and, using a fork, turn to coat, drain excess icing, then place on a wire rack over a tray, put a small piece of hazelnut praline on each and let stand until set. Store in a single layer in an airtight container. Biscotti will keep for up to 1 week.