November 18, 2010

Hazelnut Cookies

It started with a bag of the most wonderful hazelnuts I’ve ever had.  Purely delicious.  While at the store the other morning I was deciding what nuts to buy for my granola when Shane suggested we try a trip to the hazelnut farm.  A farm he passes five times a week, twice a day and yet somehow, a farm we’ve never been to.  We dropped in after visiting our favourite honey farm, immediately we were given samples of more than a dozen different treats the farm makes on site.  That was the beginning of the end.  They roped us in and before we knew it, we came home with a bag of dry roasted hazelnuts, a coffee coated batch and a jar or hazelnut chocolate spread (also known as the jar that killed my thighs).

I put some hazelnuts in my granola and the rest in the freezer. This morning while searching for an easy fall treat, I noticed that I had hazelnut cookies written down on my 'To Bake' list.  I remember reading this recipe in my first issue of Martha Stewart.  They sounded so good, so simple and fresh that I didn’t want to use just any stale nuts from the store, so I added them to the list, thought about them a few times and waited.  This morning they were perfect.  Moist, crisp, buttery and nutty.  All you taste is hazelnuts and its all you want.  I added some chocolate on the top to make them a little more special (or maybe I really like Nutella!)

Now I'm sorry to say these aren't my weekly post of Christmas cookies, I'm just getting ready for another four night shifts, so bear with me, I hope to get them up this week yet.
Hazelnut Cookies 
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
Hazelnut meal, for those who haven’t heard, is just toasted hazelnuts (skins taken off) put in the food processor and blitzed to oblivion.  It’s a noisy ordeal I’ll warn you, but easy enough to do.  In the end the hazelnuts should be very fine.
125g (1/2 c) butter, room temperature
100g (1/2 c) sugar
150g (1 1/4 c) flour
1/2 c toasted hazelnut meal
1/2 t coarse salt
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale and creamy.  Add flour, hazelnut meal and salt, beat until dough forms.  
Roll out the dough in your hands to one inch balls.  Place on a cookie sheet and flatten slightly with a fork.  Bake until the edges of the cookie are golden brown, 12-13 minutes.  

In a medium bowl chop chocolate in place over a pan of simmering water.  Once chocolate is melted dip the tops of the cookies and place on a rack to harden.  

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