Monday, July 18, 2011

Hazelnut Cookies

The great thing about living where I do is that no matter how hot it gets during the day, once the sun goes down the temperature starts dropping.

Most evenings, it cools off enough that putting something into the oven for a little while isn't a big deal. Sure, you might not want to roast a turkey, but a little batch of cookies is no problem.

The nice thing about these hazelnut cookies is that they're designed to be baked from the refrigerator. So you can make the dough whenever you like, refrigerate it, and bake when it's cool enough, whether it's that evening or a few days later.

Slice-and-bake cookies aren't the prettiest things you can make. But here's the secret: instead of slicing and baking, you can scoop out small balls of dough and flatten them instead.

These cookies aren't terribly sweet, so if that's your preference you can sprinkle them with powdered sugar after you bake them, or drizzle them with a little chocolate. Or, if you're feeling really decadent, make sandwich cookies with chocolate-hazelnut spread in the middle.

Besides the hazelnuts, I used a bit of hazelnut extract along with the vanilla. If you don't have hazelnut extract (and who does, besides me?) use all vanilla.

Hazelnut Cookies

1 cup hazelnuts
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon hazelnut extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chop the hazelnuts finely - a food processor is ideal, or you can do this by hand, if you prefer.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it is light. Add the vanilla and continue beating until it is thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt and hazelnuts. Stir to combine, then add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until the flour is incorporated.

Form the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or longer, if it's more convenient.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into disks about 1/4 inch thick and arrange them on the cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees until the cookies are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Cool completely on a rack.


Heidi @ Food Doodles said...

I love these! We have hazelnut trees in our yard and I still have some left from last year so I can't wait to try these. Thanks for sharing :D

Anonymous said...

Oh, Yes! Combining Hazel Nuts and some WWWF (from KAF) is a winner. In Oregon, we grow a healthy crop of Hazel Nuts (commerical) and still have a thriving crop of Filberts (wild, too often a nusance tree) to satisfy our needs. Clearly, a great, tasty nut! With no, I do not have any Hazel (Filbert) extract. If needed, I just add more nuts. A great recipe, Donna and thanks for sharing it. -Craig

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