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Hazelnut Ginger Shortbread

From the book Oregon’s Cuisine of the Rain by


Crystallized ginger lends an intriguing note to nutty butter cookies. The recipe was created by Sara Perry. The shortbread can be stored in a tin for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. hazelnuts, roasted, skinned, and ground
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature


  1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees. Position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, ginger, the ½ cup sugar, and the ¼ cup hazelnuts. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gather the dough into a ball.
  3. Place the ball in an ungreased 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Pierce the entire surface with the tines of a fork. Then score the surface into 12 wedge-shaped pieces.
  4. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven. While the shortbread is still warm, slice it along the scored lines and sprinkle the top with the remaining hazelnuts and sugar. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan.


Culinate editor’s notes: For more complex flavor, replace half of the flour with whole-wheat pastry flour; in that case, you may also need an extra tablespoon or two of butter to make the mixture come together. If you wish, it’s fine to replace half of the sugar with brown sugar or swap in pecans, walnuts, or almonds instead of hazelnuts. Chill the dough at least two hours before baking for a flaky, sandy shortbread.

This content is from the book Oregon’s Cuisine of the Rain by Karen Brooks.

There are 36 comments on this item
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11% recommend this recipe
1. by Eva on Dec 3, 2008 at 12:28 PM PST

Spooky. I was just thinking to myself that I want to make shortbread tonight. This sounds so good!

2. by scavalie on Dec 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM PST

This sounds fantastic! I love making shortbread in the winter. Has anyone tried this in a different shaped pan?

3. by pscheel on Dec 3, 2008 at 12:53 PM PST

These sound so good, but I hate peeling hazelnuts! Anyone have a failproof way of getting the skins off? I may have to make these anyway, as I love ginger.

4. by dolls123 on Dec 3, 2008 at 12:53 PM PST

This looks really good

5. by Nicole on Dec 3, 2008 at 12:57 PM PST

I love shortbread, but have never made it. Always buy the Walkers myself.

6. by shandon on Dec 3, 2008 at 1:00 PM PST

I like that this doesn’t require any fancy equipment (and by fancy, I mean anything electric)!

7. by tamigordon on Dec 3, 2008 at 1:04 PM PST

gotta love a recipe with only 5 ingredients. looks yummy!

8. by flip58 on Dec 3, 2008 at 1:04 PM PST

I love shortbread and I love gingerbread. I am not certain how I feel about ginger shortbread.

9. by AsTheNight on Dec 3, 2008 at 1:17 PM PST

Christmas 2007 was the first time I made shortbread; I’ll be sure to try this recipe this year. I love the idea of ginger as an ingredient here.

10. by Lee Ann on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:04 PM PST

pscheel, if you rub the hazelnuts in a cotton kitchen towel after toasting, that should get most of the skins off. Any bits that are left add visual interest to the cookie - that’s my excuse, anyway. <g>

These sound fabulous!

11. by ebradshaw on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:10 PM PST

I wonder if you could use other nuts -- I’ve been on a huge pecan kick lately...

12. by elysek on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:13 PM PST

I adore shortbread. Adding crystalized ginger and hazelnuts to the basic recipe was a great idea!

13. by Rocio on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:17 PM PST

I would probably omit the crystallized ginger. I find it to have an odd, overwhelming taste...does anyone else feel the same? I have no problem with ground ginger, however. Would it be possible to substitute one for the other?

14. by damons on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:19 PM PST

Sounds good, except for the ginger part (can’t stand the stuff). The rest of the family would like it though!

15. by rtysons on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:20 PM PST

This sounds amazing, esp. since hazelnuts are my favorite nut and I adore ginger. I think I’ll be printing this up to try this season.

16. by mickey on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:23 PM PST

This looks fantastic. I usually just make my shortbread kind of freeform, but I’ll have to give the tart pan a try.

17. by That's nuts! on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:36 PM PST

I like shortbread but don’t make it because all that butter scares me...but these sound good. I love both ginger and hazelnuts and have never thought of putting them together.

18. by starsmom on Dec 3, 2008 at 2:43 PM PST

Shortbread is my favorite cookie as’s all about the butter. The ginger is an intriguing addition.......not sure if it appeals to me or not.......not one of my favorite flavors....but I’m willing to try! Thanks for the giveaway!

19. by Maggie on Dec 3, 2008 at 3:13 PM PST

Looks incredible.

20. by Lagniappe on Dec 3, 2008 at 3:18 PM PST

Now, the only way I enjoy ginger, outside of Asian cuisine, is crystallized.

Then you go and combine it with a favorite nut the hazelnut, and you even dare to place these in the queen of all cookies - shortbread.

What more can one say, other than, “Pass the cookies, please.”

21. by Teacher A on Dec 3, 2008 at 4:09 PM PST

Oh, man. You guys are going to make me fat. Too many delicious goodies!

22. by macaronibirds on Dec 3, 2008 at 4:20 PM PST

Yum.. this sounds delicious :)

23. by LOVESTOBAKEJUSTLAZY on Dec 3, 2008 at 4:53 PM PST

I love when you folks have simple but delectable recipes, these sound amazing..thankyou.

24. by laikarose on Dec 3, 2008 at 5:44 PM PST

Joan Nathan’s cookbooks are worth reading, just for the information about the recipes alone. Her dessert book would be amazing.

25. by drala625 on Dec 3, 2008 at 5:59 PM PST

It is a lot easier than I thought to make shortbread.

26. by ivy on Dec 3, 2008 at 6:14 PM PST

I have always loved shotbread and as a youngster our family could not afford to buy the shotbread cookies for the whole family. I made plain shotbread and everyone loved it. I never thought of jazzing it up with delicious ginger or even the hazelnuts. (I guess not much imagiation).

27. by Valerie Mitchell on Dec 3, 2008 at 7:05 PM PST

this sounds yummy & shortbread is easy to make! :)

28. by The Lucky Ladybug on Dec 3, 2008 at 7:38 PM PST

Walker’s Shortbread is my all-time favorite, but if this is anything close it’s gotta be great :) Thanks for the giveaway!

29. by Diane Brush on Dec 3, 2008 at 7:59 PM PST

This looks absolutely delicious!

30. by sdeas on Dec 3, 2008 at 8:19 PM PST

I agree about enjoying shortbread, but I’d rather stick to traditional shortbread and skip the ginger.

31. by madeas on Dec 3, 2008 at 10:17 PM PST

I like how, if needed, this shortbread can be stored in the freezer. An unlikely outcome for a dessert, but I like having the option available....

32. by cdziuba on Dec 4, 2008 at 12:40 AM PST

I have never used crystallized ginger, and this recipe made me interested in trying it, perhaps even making the shortbread.

33. by intime on Dec 4, 2008 at 2:59 AM PST

this looks very good

34. by freakdujour on Dec 4, 2008 at 6:04 AM PST

ok- this is something I MUST try this season!

35. by Cynthya on Dec 4, 2008 at 11:51 AM PST

I love shortbread (especially Walkers) but have never tried making it myself. I didn’t know it was so easy!

36. by faither on Dec 4, 2008 at 12:01 PM PST

This sounds like a good recipe to try. Am going to add it to my stack of recipes that I want to make. Thanks.

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