As we near the end of the holiday season and the great joy of sharing our favorite culinary traditions, we look forward to celebrating the coming of a new year. I’m thinking one great way to do that is to share a platter of good cookies.
I’m a hazelnut fiend. Actually, I guess it’d be more accurate to say I simply love nuts. These Hazelnut Crumble Cookies are my idea of a really good cookie. They’re made quickly in a food processor with a few simple ingredients and baked to a perfect crispness. If you, too, love hazelnuts, I invite you to take a bite of these perfectly simple and delicious cookies as you toast the stroke of midnight. They’re light, not too sweet and a great way to ring in the New Year.
Sending my very best wishes for a very Happy New Year to you and your families. Here’s hoping for a good measure of love, great food, friendship and many new opportunities in 2015. Cheers!!
- To toast hazelnuts, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes. Rub them in a towel to remove most of the skins.
- I make the cookie dough one day ahead, shape it into cookies, place them on to a baking sheet, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- I use a #40 scoop (1 tablespoon) to portion the cookie dough. It speeds up the process and creates uniform cookies.
- These cookies don’t take on any color except the bottoms should be golden brown. To check for doneness, give one a nudge with your fingertip. If it moves easily without any resistance, check the bottoms to see if they’re golden brown. They will crisp up as they cool.
Hazelnut Crumble Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
2 cups (10 oz) flour
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) toasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) sugar
1/4 t salt
8 oz (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup (2 oz) powdered sugar, for dusting
Place the flour, hazelnuts, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground. Cut the butter into 1/2” pieces and add. Process until the mixture looks like course meal. Add the egg yolk, vanilla and almond extracts and process just until the mixture starts to collect into damp clumps. Scoop or shape the dough into 1 1/4” balls and place them on a baking sheet. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Place 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom, about 22 to 24 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets half-way through to ensure even baking and browning.
Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool. Dust with powered sugar.