A Week of Christmas: Day 2
I don’t think you can go through the holiday season without enjoying a handful of tasty nuts at some point or another. Yes nuts. Why are they so popular this time of year? I haven’t the clue, but I love them. Today’s recipe features some of the tastiest, flavourful nuts out there (in my opinion)- Hazelnuts. I am nutty about the dark, oakey flavour these little guys bring to the table. I think I can easily say hazelnuts are my number one nut!
You know the kind of cookie that has a tough outside and a soft, chewy centre? These are that kind. One bite and you get that perfect cookie texture. They are also a lovely partner to a cold glass of milk (or eggnog if you’re in the mood).
Each cookie is dense and packed with a rich flavour that is deepened by espresso powder and roasted crunchy hazelnuts. These cookies pair old-time traditional with a fancy nutty twist!
Oh, and have I mentioned the Nutella yet? If you are unfamiliar with the tasty concoction, Nutella is an Italian chocolate hazelnut spread traditionally used on toast that has recently hit the baking scene by storm. The recipe calls for a whole 1 1/4 cups of the delicious treat! Lucky us.
Once the cookies have cooled on your kitchen counter, dust them with a sprinkling of icing sugar to complete their holiday splendour. They will be beauties!
Here you go:
3 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/4 cups nutella 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 1 1/3 cup white sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp instant espresso powder 2 large eggs 1/3 cup milk 1 1/2 cups roasted hazelnuts, chopped finely 1 cup icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roast chopped hazelnuts in oven until just golden (about 5 mins). Let hazelnuts cool. Keep oven on.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. With electric mixer on medium high speed, beat Nutella, butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, espresso powder and eggs and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and milk, and mix until just combined. Fold in 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and refrigerate dough until firm about 1 hour.
4. Place remaining hazelnuts in a bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar to another bowl. One at a time roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll in hazelnuts, then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake until set, about 8 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool 5 minutes on sheets, and transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
Recipe Credit: Cook’s Country. January 2009 Issue.
I hope you enjoy your little chewies! If you want to keep them extra fresh, they can be easily popped into a ziplock and stored in your freezer until the time is right.
Have a great Saturday! What are your plans today? It’s raining in Vancouver, but I hope that doesn’t stop you from doing exactly what you planned today whether that was indoors or out!
PS: I’m nuts about nuts! Why nuts are the best and why you should be crazy about them too. (Sorry about the cheesy nut puns today! Gosh..)