HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE CHRISTMAS TREES
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g (⅔ cup) brown sugar
1 large egg
60g (¼ cup) honey
300g (2 cups) plain flour
30g (¼ cup) Dutch cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
75g (¾ cup) Lucky Hazelnut Meal
150g (1¼ cups) pure icing sugar
1 egg white
½ tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Lucky Hazelnut Meal, for sprinkling
45g (¼ cup) Lucky Natural Pistachios, coarsely chopped
1. Line three baking trays with baking paper. Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl with electric beaters until mixture is pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the honey and mix until just combined.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices over the mixture. Sprinkle over the hazelnut meal. Using a wooden spoon stir until the mixture is combined and forms a dough. Flatten the dough into a 2cm thick disc shape, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat fan-forced oven to 160°C. Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to a 5mm thickness. To make three trees, cut out nine stars each with a 9cm, 7cm and 5cm star-shaped cutter and three with a 2.5cm cutter. Place 2.5cm stars on one tray, 5cm and 7cm stars on another and 9cm stars on a third. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. Bake the 2.5cm stars for 5 minutes, the 5cm and 7cm stars for 8 minutes and the 9cm stars for 10 minutes. Cool on trays for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make icing, sift sugar and in a separate bowl, whisk egg white using electric beaters, until soft and foamy. While continuously whisking, add lemon juice before incorporating icing sugar one tablespoon at a time until combined and soft peaks form. Spoon icing into an icing bag. Squeeze out any excess air and seal bag closed. Refrigerate bag of icing until ready to use. The icing will keep for 24 hours.
6. To assemble, gently squeeze icing onto the centre of each star and stack, largest to smallest. Decorate with icing before sprinkling over nuts, as shown in picture.