Creme Brulee and Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies with a Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling
125g softened butter
75g castor sugar
1 small egg yolk (or half a large egg yolk)
125g plain flour
35g ground hazelnuts
130g cream cheese
1/2 tbsp honey
30g softened butter
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp icing sugar
¾ tbsp. water
Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and to combine. Add the flour and ground hazelnuts and mix in gently, being careful not to over beat the mixture. Bring the dough together into a ball, flatten into a round and wrap in cling-film. Place in the fridge for about an hour to 1 and a half hours until its firmed up. While its in the fridge, pre-heat oven to 175C.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out between two lightly floured pieces of baking paper until about 3-4 mm thick. Using a fluted circle cookie cutter cut out cookies from the dough and place carefully on a lined baking sheet. Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set up slightly again before baking in the pre-heated oven for around 15-17 minutes, or until slightly golden on the top. As soon as the come out of the oven, cut out a little heart in the center of half the number of cookies (I used a heart fondant cutter). Leave to cool on a baking rack.
For the filling, beat together cream cheese and honey for about one minute until mostly smooth. Add the butter and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat for another couple minutes. Place into a piping bag filled with a 1 cm circle nozzle. Pipe onto the other half of the cookies with-out the heart cut out, set aside.
For the brulee top, mix together the icing sugar and water to form a runny paste, then spread a thin layer over the top of the cookies with the heart cut-out. Brulee using a blow torch until the entire glaze has caramelized and is a dark amber colour. Sandwich on top of the other cookies with the filling piped on top of them. Decorate with hazelnuts and edible flowers.